Partnering with Nigeria to Adopt Technology for Rapid, Effective TB Response
TB testing and results reporting is a lengthy process in Nigeria—partly due to a reliance on paper records, overburdened labs, and slow data transit systems—making it difficult for the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) to account for and enroll patients diagnosed with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) in a timely manner. DR-TB occurs when strains of the tuberculosis bacteria develop resistance to treatment by first-line drugs. It is difficult and expensive to treat, requiring a treatment period of three to four times that of TB and several daily rounds of antibiotic, and is often fatal. Identifying it, enrolling patients in treatment programs, and testing their contacts in a timely manner is critical to epidemic control.