Nigerian region TB rates increase in 2012

Thousands of new tuberculosis cases where reported from January to September of this year in Kano, Nigeria, reflecting the increasing prevalence of the illness.

Dr. Tijjani Hussain, the coordinator of the Kano region's Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program, said that the number of registered TB patients has been rising since 2003, according to

Hussain said that the number of registered cases of TB in Kano for all of 2003 was 2,236. By 2011, that number had risen to 6,090 for the entire year.

Hussain assured the public that the number of cases should not be a frightening statistic. He said that he expected that there would be more than 20,000 new cases of TB across Nigeria discovered every year. Since more accurate registration measures were enacted nine years ago, 50,701 TB patients have been diagnosed and treated in the Kano region.

The Kano region's Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program has been providing free testing, treatment and public awareness programs as part of its efforts.

"In 2003 we had only five general hospitals providing free TB treatment to patients, but at the moment we have about 218 centers comprising of dispensaries and other facilities across the state providing these services,'' Hussain said, reportes. "We also intensify diagnosis of HIV clients because they have higher predisposition of becoming infected with tuberculosis."