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Low immune system predisposes children to TB infection’

The Osun Programme Manager for Tuberculosis, Dr Deji Gbadamosi, on Friday, said children are the most vulnerable group prone to contracting Tuberculosis due to their low immune system.

He made this known at a one-day tuberculosis training for selected journalists in Osogbo, organised by Breakthrough Action Nigeria, a United States Agency for International Development, in collaboration with the Osun Ministry of Health.

Gbadamosi, said although the disease can affect all age groups, “children are in the most vulnerable group”, adding that those staying with adults who have tuberculosis and those living with HIV, as well as those who are malnourished, are also at risk of getting infected.

He listed the signs and symptoms of tuberculosis in children to include weight loss, persistent

fever for more than two weeks or more, and cough for two weeks or more.

The programme manager said the challenges with childhood TB control include low awareness, poor health-seeking behaviour and stigmatisation.

According to him, tuberculosis is treatable and preventable, underscoring the importance of maintaining good hygiene and early medical attention.

Gbadamosi said testing and treatment of tuberculosis are free in all designated state facilities and private hospitals and called on the media to engage in regular sensitisation on child TB, write human angle stories to make people connect and take action and also advocate for more funding for childhood TB control.

He said TB could be prevented when people avoid crowded areas, maintain good cough etiquette, and early detection and treatment.

The Commissioner for Health, Jola Akintola, stressed the importance of media support in raising awareness about tuberculosis, adding that early detection is crucial for effective treatment and cure.

Represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Akeem Bello, Akintola said that the state government was doing everything possible to make quality healthcare delivery available to the people.

The representative of Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Mrs Adebisi Adetunji, on her part, said the objective of the training was to enhance media understanding of TB control efforts.

Adetunji also said it was to increase media coverage of TB activities and strengthen collaboration between the media and the state’s TB control team.

(NAN)

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