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FG committed to ending tuberculosis in Nigeria – Minister

minister of health 1

Federal government Friday said it is committed in ending tuberculosis in Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Hon. Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, made this known during a press briefing on to commemorate the 2023 World TB Day.

According to the minister, the day affords us an opportunity to assess progress towards achieving the END TB strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to him: “In line with the government’s effort to ensure good health and well-being for all Nigerians as envisioned in SDG 3, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) through the NTBLCP with the support of our committed and dependable partners have initiated a number of laudable TB control interventions.

“The country has in place a number of relevant policy documents to charta strategic direction for the control of the infection. These include the National guidelines for TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment, the National Strategic Plan (NSP-2021-2025), and the compendium of best practices among others.

“In order to promote community participation, ownership and to discourage stigmatization of TB, community TB interventions are being implemented through community-based organizations across the country but more actively in 23 states. The community contribution to our national TB case notification rosee from 19% in 2018 to 45% in 2022.

“As encapsulated in the National Strategic Framework for TB/HIV collaborative activities, there have been significant improvements in this direction. Ninety-seven per cent of TB patients were tested for HIV in 2022. Consistent with the report of the 2018 National HIV/AIDS Impact Indicator Survey (NAIIS), the proportion of TB patients co-infected with HIV has dropped significantly from 12% in 2018 to 6% in 2022.

“It is heartwarming to state that these high-impact interventions amongst others have helped in revamping our TB control efforts with our annual TB notification increasing steadily from 138,591 in 2020 to the highest-ever notification of 285,561 in 2022. 1 think we all deserve a round of applause for this achievement,” Ehanire stated.

WHO Country Representative (WR) Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo who was represented at the occasion by Dr Laxmikant Chavan, WHO Technical Officer, said that Nigeria at the United Nations High Level meeting (UNHLM) on TB in 2018 made a commitment to diagnose and treat 1,109,000 TB cases and place 2,183,890 clients on TB preventive Therapy (TPT) from 2018 to 2022.

However, he said at the end of 2022, Nigeria has not demonstrated commitment as available reports show that the country is trailing behind in all the set targets.

He noted that, TB control budgets in Nigeria continue to be drastically underfunded. About 69% of the TB budget in 2021 was unfunded, this is a major threat to the country’s efforts in achieving the set targets. Too many people are pushed into poverty when they contract TB due to lost income, transport costs and other expenses. 71% of the TB patients in Nigeria and their household are affected by catastrophic cost due to TB.

According to him:” WHO will continue to support Nigeria in developing and implementing guidelines, plans, framework and strategic documents to end TB epidemic in Nigeria. In addition, we will facilitate research to provide evidence-based interventions and innovations for finding the missing TB cases and enhancing the country’s efforts in reaching the set targets.



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