Nigeria's minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, as well as local and international medical experts have expressed concern over rising cases of Tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria, especially among the country’s productive workforce.
Speaking at an event in Abuja on Monday, 25th March, 2019 during the launch of a roadmap to tackle the scourge, Adewole and some global health experts said Nigeria was not making progress in fighting TB, which is estimated to affect 407,000 persons yearly.
To underscore the burden, Adewole said Nigeria’s TB treatment coverage for 2018 was 255, adding that out of an estimated 418, 000 new cases, only 106,533 cases were reported in 2018 leaving over 300,000 cases undiagnosed.
On their part, Chevron’s Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited disclosed that it spent over N16.6 billion to fighting the disease in Nigeria last year. Adewole opined that funding gap, lack of awareness, technical capacity and poor private sector collaboration were crippling current efforts.
“Tuberculosis is a major public health problem in Nigeria, as it is ranked number one in Africa and sixth globally among countries with high burden of TB. “In addition, we are among the 30th high TB burden countries and 14th in the world on all three WHO lists of high burden countries for TB, MDR-TB and TB/HIV,”
Meanwhile, wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has solicited private sector and media support in the fight to end tuberculosis in the country. Speaking at a Gala Night to celebrate TB Champions and Survivors organized by Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in Abuja, Aisha noted that TB was a major challenge globally and a killer disease, adding that it should be integrated in the fight against HIV/AIDS to reduce the deaths associated with the disease.