Health Minister Advocates Compulsory TB Test For Public Servants, Students

The federal government has advocated compulsory pre-medical test for Tuberculosis, TB, for newly employed public servants in both federal and state government levels as well as newly admitted students into secondary and tertiary institutions.

Stating this development during the 61st National Council on Health (NCH) meeting in Kano, Professor Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, said TB screening should be provided to persons seeking health care whether or not they had symptoms and signs compatible with TB infection.

“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 said.

The minister said 2017 and beyond had been declared the years of accelerating TB case finding in Nigeria.

Adewole further directed that all health care workers should as a routine, conduct symptomatic 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.

He said, “Mandatory TB screening should be part of pre-employment medical tests for the 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.

“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).”

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