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TB: Expert Advises Parents On How To Handle Treatments Among Children

A Medical Researcher, Dr Bamidele Iwalokun has advised parents to ensure that they handled cases of Tuberculosis (TB) among children without any delay.
Iwalokun of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Yaba, Lagos, told journalists ,on Monday.
He said that TB was an all-year- round-disease, occurring more during the rainy season.
He identified cough as one of the symptoms of the TB and others diseases affecting the human wind pipes.
The researcher then urged parents to always pay attention to their children and ensured that they visited their physicians regularly and when they suspected any unpleasant health situation.
They should also ensure that their children sleep in well -ventilated rooms because overcrowding was also a risk factor for TB in children.
“Parents should also make sure that their children get BCG vaccine at nine months and also a boosted dose of this vaccine at 15 – 18months of age.
“Parents should also know all the symptoms of TB in children which are fever, weight loss, distended stomach, swollen neck, also called cervical lymphadenitis and persistent cough.
“There are no licensed herbal medicines that can cure TB in children.
“This is one of the bad practices that delay appropriate treatment of TB and influence the development of multi-drug resistant TB in the country,’’ Iwalokun said.
He said that the treatment of TB needed good and modern healthcare facilities, a national treatment policy, well equipped laboratory and continuous staff training.
All these would be needed to diagnose tuberculosis at all healthcare centres, he said.
The researcher said that it was also a sign that the airway had been irritated by environmental factors like: mycobacterium, inflammation and toxins of pathogens.
“When cough becomes persistent for more than two weeks and is accompanied by blood, then, that is a sign of tuberculosis.
“Coughing accompanied with blood, also called hemoptysis, and is more common in adults than in children with tuberculosis.’’
Iwalokun also said that, “Cough is not expressed by every child with tuberculosis.
“This is because extra pulmonary tuberculosis is the form of tuberculosis that is more common in children and not pulmonary tuberculosis.’’
According to him, tuberculosis can be grouped into two: zoonotic infection and human infection.
“Zoonotic infections are TB that can be contracted by interacting with animals such as cat which served as reservoirs of zoonotic TB,’’ he said.
He said that typical or environmental tuberculosis occurred commonly during the dusty or harmattan period.
Iwalokun said that children were susceptible to zoonotic TB because of their love for cats and other pets
“This possibility has evidence but not in Nigeria. However, evidence is required to inform appropriate interventions in the country.
“ However, veterinary doctors in the country who domesticate pets need to maintain good and hygienic practices with pets,’’ he advised.
He emphasised health promotion activities by relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to enlighten the public.
Iwalokun said that research had shown that children living with adults that were treating TB or with history of TB could contract it.
Also, those living in an area where the incidence of TB was high were at higher risk, he said.
He said that precaution should be taken in this situation to prevent TB in children by ensuring that children were not exposed to some of these dangers. (NAN)

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