Nigeria requires $2.5b to attain universal access to TB prevention, treatment – WHO

Nigeria will require about $2.5 billion by 2020 to attain universal access to TB prevention and treatment, the World Health Organisation has said.
The WHO made the statement in its 2014 global TB survey report.
The report was contained in the brochure of the First National TB Prevalence Survey Report, launched in Abuja on Tuesday.
The report claimed that at the present transmission rate, an estimated one million people would be infected with HIV; 200,000 cases of multidrug-resistant TB would be recorded, resulting to 1.7 million deaths.
It also stated that 338 people out of every 100,000 people living in Nigeria would develop TB, adding that Nigeria accounted for 15 per cent of the global gap in TB infection.
In his address at the event, the Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to provide the required leadership needed to curtail TB in Nigeria.
Alhassan said the government would allocate resources, mobilise the needed manpower and give the direction for stakeholders to support the fight against TB in Nigeria.
He promised that government would not rest as it did with the Ebola Virus Disease, until TB was totally eradicated from Nigeria.
He urged Nigerians and all stakeholders to key into government’s numerous initiatives aimed at containing the spread of communicable diseases, stressing that government could not do it alone.
Alhassan said: “In line with Mr. President’s transformation agenda in the health sector and the development plan of our development partners, we are today launching the national strategic plan for TB control from 2015 to 2020.
“The plan is captured under the national strategic health development plan of Nigeria.
“The plan is a robust response designed to curb the menace of TB in the country.
“I reaffirm government’s commitment to eradicating TB from our shores using this approach.”
In his remark, the WHO country representative, Dr. Rui Gama Vaz, rated Nigeria the third highest in the world with known cases of TB prevalence.
Vaz said Nigeria had the skill and capacity to eradicate TB but required more comprehensive and robust approach to tackle issues relating to transmission and prevention of the disease.
Vaz stressed the need for intensive public sensitisation to educate the people about the dangers and preventive measures to eradicate the disease from Nigeria.
He however expressed hope that Nigeria would successfully contain the disease given its renewed vigour in combating communicable diseases.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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