What You Need to Know About TB and Antibiotic Misuse

One of the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals is ending the TB pandemic by 2030. To support this target, World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on the 24th of March.


What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

TB is a contagious disease. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB, generally attacks the lungs, but the kidneys, spine and brain are also at risk. There are two conditions related to TB. They are:

  • Latent TB infection (LTBI)
  • TB disease.


Approximately 1/4 of the world's population has latent TB.


Who is Most at Risk?

  • Diabetics
  • People who use tobacco
  • The very poor and malnourished
  • Young adults in their most productive years


Untreated TB disease can be fatal, but with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the majority of deaths from TB could be prevented.

TB Facts & Stats

Tuberculosis should be taken more seriously. Here are a few important tuberculosis facts and statistics:

    1. TB is actually preventable and curable.
    2. TB is one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
    3. TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
    4. Almost all TB deaths occur in the developing world.
    5. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick.
    6. The leading killer of people who are HIV infected is TB.
    7. One fourth of the world’s population is infected with TB.
    8. In 2016, 10.4 Million people around the world contracted TB.
    9. In 2016, there were 1.7 million TB-related deaths worldwide.
    10. In 2016, an estimated ¼ of the 1 million infected children died.
    11. The global mortality and incidence rates drop approximately 3% and 2% per year, respectively.
    12. More than 95% of TB-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
    13. On average, 45% of HIV-negative people with TB and almost all HIV-positive TB sufferers will die.
    14. Together, the following 7 countries account for 64% of the total deaths: India, Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa.
  • Nigeria is one of the 20 countries with the highest estimated numbers of incident TB cases. (Global Tuberculosis Report 2017).

Which Symptoms are Associated with TB?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Weakness
  • Chest pains
  • Weight loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Cough with phlegm (sometimes blood)


Because symptoms may be mild for months, treatment is usually delayed, allowing the bacteria to spread.


How Does TB Spread?

TB spreads from person to person through the air. Germs reach the air when people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit. Only a few inhaled germs can lead to infection.

Every person with active TB that is not treated can infect up to 15 people in a year through close contact.

About TB Treatment
It is estimated that between 2000 and 2016, 53 million lives were saved thanks to accurate diagnosis and successful treatment.


Rifampicin (RRTB) is the most effective first-line drug against TB disease. However, drug-resistant TB has become more than a major issue. It is a public health crisis and a health security threat. According to WHO’s estimations, there were 600 000 people with drug resistant TB in 2016 and a massive 490 000 of those had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).


Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is even worse than MDR-TB since otherwise effective second-line anti-TB drugs are even less effective or not at all.


Globally, only 54% of people with MDR-TB are being successfully treated. Only 30% of people with XDR-TB are being successfully treated.


The Dangers of Self-medication

The misuse and overuse of antibiotics, including using antibiotics not prescribed by medical experts, is a major health problem in Nigeria. It leads to antibiotic resistance, meaning the antibiotic cannot effectively control or kill bacterial growth.





  • Stop self-diagnosing: see a healthcare professional if you have medical concerns
  • Stop using over-the-counter antibiotics: your life could be at risk one day
  • If you experience TB symptoms, get tested immediately


At our Medicentres, we put our patients’ health and privacy first. We are more than just healthcare providers. We are a family and you can trust us to always provide expert, professional care.


If you have any questions about TB, or if you want to get tested or treated, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:


Email: enquiries@thebridgeclinic.com
Call:    01 631 0092 / +234 (0)1 631 0092
Visit:   66 Oduduwa Way, Ikeja GRA


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