The federal government has been tasked to scale up funding and improve access to treatment of tuberculosis, to help Nigeria attain the Sustainable Development Goal of ending the epidemic.by 2030
The USAID at a press conference further urged the Nigerian government to employ multi-sectorial approaches towards locating the estimated 300,000 cases missed within the population.
Dr Temitayo Odusote, a USAID official said Nigeria has only 398 TB resting machines which are mostly not enough for Nigeria’s 200 million populations.
She lamented that the TB elimination efforts in Nigeria have largely been donor driven and was not a sustainable measure to fight the disease.
‘‘We have to reach out to other sectors to join in funding this fight, the private sector, the legislatures and the executives. We also have to work with politicians’’
According to a 2018 Global TB Report, Nigeria ranks 6th among 30 high TB burden countries and 1st in Africa. Nigeria is also among the 30 high burden countries for TB/HIV and MDR-TB.
The report said about, forty-nine (49) Nigerians develop active TB every hour.
But one of the major challenges of TB response in Nigeria according to experts, has been low TB case findings in both adult and children, a situation that has aggravated spread and contamination.
A Tuberculosis expert at the KNCV TB Foundation, Dr. Berthrand Odume laments that TB is a deadly infectious disease, and Nigeria has remained one of the worst hit countries with 18 persons dying every hour.
Meanwhile, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Tuberculosis and Leprosy, Abubakar Dahiru, says the lower house will organise public hearings to galvanize efforts to fund the End TB programme in Nigeria.
He said that will be the representatives contribution towards ending Tuberculosis.
He however, promised that reps members in the 9th Assembly will be mandated to buy a Gene Expert TB testing machine for their constituencies.