An ongoing pilot program led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ Breakthrough ACTION project — designed to increase the number of tuberculosis cases identified and treated in Nigeria — has received an extra $1 million from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Nigeria to reach even more Nigerians with symptoms of the contagious lung disease. The Center for Communication Programs (CCP) is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The efforts saw a significant increase (51 percent) in the number of people with long-term coughing symptoms referred for treatment at health facilities in four Nigerian districts during a 12-week intervention period in 2019. The series of small pilot programs achieved this result by engaging small medicine stores, religious leaders, and individuals in marketplaces and transportation hubs, enlisting people outside of the medical community to improve tuberculosis (TB) case detection.
TB is one of the leading causes of death in Nigeria, but the nation has one of the lowest TB case detection rates in the world, with fewer than 24 percent of the estimated cases identified in 2017. TB can be cured within six months if treated appropriately, but lack of adherence to treatment is a driver of multidrug-resistant TB. While much work has been done to raise awareness of TB and how to treat it, it has not translated into significant increases in case detection.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 07