By Joseph Edegbo
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole says Nigeria has the 2nd highest burden of tuberculosis in Africa and 7th in the world.
Also, Nigeria is among the 14 countries considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being high burden, not only for TB, but also TB/HIV and MDR-TP globally.
The Minister stated this on Tuesday at the National Public/ Private Mix on Tuberculosis Control Summit in Lagos.
Prof. Adewole said however that the Ministry in Collaboration with both national and international TB control agencies is currently providing free TB services in over 7,000 health facilities in the country ,where over 100,000 cases were notified and treated in 2017.
This, he said, represents 25% of the estimated TB cases in the country, while the remaining 75% that are undetected remain in the community.
“The Ministry in collaboration with a broad coalition of partners namely: USAID and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV)/Challenge TB (CTB), the Department of Defence (DOD), the Global Fund, the International Federation of Leprosy Associations (ILEP), the Stop TB partnership, Association of Reproductive and family Health (ARFH), Institute of Human Virology (IHVN) and the Civil Societies among others, is currently providing free TB services in over 7,000 health facilities in the country, where over 100,000 TB cases were notified and treated in 2017.
“The TB cases notified in 2017 only represent about 25% of the estimated TB cases in the country. “The remaining 75% of the estimated TB cases that are undetected (missing TB cases) remain in the community, leaving a high probability of transmission of the disease to other people. “The infectious sources could be our close associates, workers, drivers, teachers etc. thereby putting all of us including our children at risk, and hence the need for all of us to work together to make Nigeria free of TB.
“We are working hard to address the menace. The country currently delivers TB treatment and care through a network of over 7,000 health facilities accredited by the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) up from 3931 in 2010. Similarly, the number of Drug resistant TB (DR-TB) treatment centres has been progressively increased from 10 in 2013 to 28 in 2017.” he said.
According to the Minister, a cutting-edged technology to enhance TB diagnosis has been deployed in the country , while a total of 391 GeneXpert machines have also been installed at 310 sites across the country for the purpose
The Minister who acknowledged the support provided by all the partners for their immense contributions, assured them of the present Administration’s resolve to end TB in Nigeria.
The Summit was attended by Business Executives, Corporate , Multilateral/ Bilateral Organisations as well as Private Health providers and Civil Society Organisations.