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Protect vulnerable children living with adult carriers of TB – Experts caution

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Journalists at the workshop

By Akpan David, Calabar

Experts have said that children who are living with adults that are affected with Tuberculosis (TB), are at risk of being affected with the disease, if they are not given necessary cautionary preventions. 

They have also disclosed that children who are malnourished are also at risk of being effected with TB.

One of the experts who spoke during Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N) media partners review and capacity strengtening meeting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, was the focal person for Childhood Tuberculosis,  Ulcer, Leprosy Control Programme , Mrs Ajom Odey  Ikongha.

She highlighted signs and symptoms of TB in children to include; weight loss, persistent fever of two weeks or more, persistent cough, amongst other sign’s. 

Mrs Ikongha pointed out that some of the challenges of TB control in children in Nigeria are, low childhood awareness among the general population, poor health seeking behaviour, stigmatisation and discrimination.

Highlighting the the preventive measures to be taken to reduce TB in children, Mrs Odey advised Nigerians to avoid crowded places and maintain good coughing etiquette.

She posited that early detection and treatment of the disease will help to reduce TB in children Nigeria.

She strongly advised that all eligible contacts, especially children must be put on TB preventive treatment (TPT).

She expressed worry that there has been limited media engagement in TB awareness creations, low index of expectations for child TB by health services providers, low funding, among others.

Journalists were there charged to educate parents on the need to work together to reduce the impact of Tuberculosis in children, noting  that TB as an air borne disease is more common in men than in women in Nigeria.

According to her, TB of the lungs is the most common and can affect any part of the body.

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