Health Minister recommends TB screening as part of employment test

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Nigerian Minister of Health professor Isaac Adewole has recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening as pre- medical test to newly employed public servants in both Federal and State governments level.

He also advocates for TB screening to newly admitted students into Secondary and Tertiary Institutions in the country.

This is part of the strategy to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets,  “to bring an end to the scourge of TB by 2030”, he said.

The Minister made the recommendations in Kano state, while chairing the 61st National Council on Health Meeting.

Adewole said to achieve this, government must utilize all opportunities to screen, detect, and treat TB timely in order to interrupt the transmission of the disease.

“Mandatory TB screening should be part of pre-employment medical tests for the following:Newly employed staff in all Ministries, Departments & Agencies at all levels (Federal, state and LGA); and newly admitted students into Secondary and all Tertiary institutions in the country. This will enable prompt detection and treatment of TB in Nigeria”, the Minister said.

He said 2017 and beyond have been declared the years of accelerating TB case finding in Nigeria.

I wish to advocate that mandatory TB screening be offered to both those who seek health care with or without symptoms/signs compatible with TB and those who do not”, he further stressed.

Adewole directed that all Health Care workers should as a routine conduct, carry out TB screening at all Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in all health facilities especially at secondary and tertiary health facilities to ensure prompt diagnosis of TB and eventual treatment of the positive TB cases.

“It is also necessary to inform Council that in order to further ensure that TB cases are detected among children and their care givers; I have approved the inclusion of TB response strategies in activities to be addressed under the saving One Million Lives Programme for Result (SOML PforR),” Adewole said.

He called on all Commissioners of Health to ensure compliance in their respective states.

The Minister said the screening and detection of TB patients would give government opportunity to offer free treatment to the patients.

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