Outdated drugs major challenge to TB treatment, Microbiologist says

TB diagram
Diagram: sau53.org

If there is no improvement on TB diagnosis, the disease will continue to pose a threat to the well being of many Nigerians.



A Professor at the Department of Microbiology, University of Lagos, Adeyemi Adeleye, has identified the use of outdated drugs as a major challenge to tuberculosis, TB, treatment in Nigeria.

Mr. Adeleye said in Lagos that some of the drugs are no longer effective, as they have been in existence for the past six decades.

“We are not making progress in terms of TB drugs; we are not meeting the standard regiment,” Mr. Adeleye said.

“Some of the drugs we are using for the treatment of tuberculosis have been in existence since the 50s; many TB patients have developed resistance to the drugs. This is because they have used them over and over again, the drugs have become ineffective,” he added.

The professor proffered research and improvement on diagnosis to curb tuberculosis epidemic in the country.

“New regiments are coming on board and we have to buy them and also improve on our diagnosis,” Mr. Adeleye said.

The microbiologist said that Nigeria currently ranks fourth among twenty two countries with the highest TB burden in the world and second in Africa.

He said that in 2011, Nigeria recorded 30.3 per cent and 75 per cent for both TB case detection and treatment.

“Both were below the World Health Organisation’s, WHO, target of 70 per cent and 85 per cent for TB detection and treatment respectively,”  Mr. Adeleye said.

He said that non-adherence to the prescribed drugs by TB patients to the prescribed drugs is a major challenge to the cure of the disease.

Mr. Adeleye said it takes a long time to cure TB and in the process the patient may be lost in treatment and continue to spread the bacteria.

He explained that about 30 per cent of HIV-infected in the country were diagnosed to have TB co-infections portending a “serious problem on our hand”.

He urged the Federal Government to respond quickly by purchasing the Xpert MTB/RIF assay endorsed by WHO in 2010, for rapid detection of TB cases.

The Xpert MTB/RIF assay is recommended for screening of drug-resistant tuberculosis and for populations infected with HIV.

Mr. Adeleye also urged the Federal Government to acquire Rifampicin resistance for TB patients and people living with HIV  who are at risk of drug resistance.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: New Discovery! Click Here To See A Miracle Device That Can Cure DIABETES, BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, ARTHRITIS, PAINS, OBESITY And 50 Other CHRONIC DISEASES Without Drugs Or Herbs.. Click Here Now To See It

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.