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Nigeria ranks 6th in world tuberculosis burden, 1st in Africa

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The key Stakeholders in the public health said on Tuesday that Nigeria ranks 6th with the highest tuberculosis burden with India bearing the brunt, followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan.

They added that Nigeria is highest in Africa followed by  South Africa.

This is just as the stakeholders disclosed that Nigeria needs to fill the current $310 million funding gap, if the country must meet the target of ending Tuberculosis by 2030.

Lovett Lawson, the board Chair, Stop TB Partnership in Nigeria while briefing Newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja said Nigeria is in the top ten countries that accounts for the over 64 per cent of global TB funding gap. He noted that the funding gap in Africa in 2018 was $600M of which $312M is in Nigeria alone.

Lawson explained that the Federal Government provides only 7 per cent while the external funding comes up to about 17 per cent which totals to 24 percent. He said, ‘ The country need 76 per cent more funding for TB control compared to the current funding level if we are to end TB in 2030. The government is not able to provide this, other sources of funding are thus required if we must meet this target.”

Lawson recalled that 193 countries promised in 2015to end TB by 2030. He however regretted that the rate of TB decline is 1.5 per cent and will need to increase to 10 per cent by 2025.

The chair also revealed that 8 to 10 million cases of TB is diagnosed yearly which according to him translates to 1 in 3 of the world population with about 95 per cent in developing countries. He added that 1.6M patients die yearly which is compounded by the fast spread of HIV/AIDS and poor sicio economic status.

Lawson while noting that TB is a major health problem affecting all, informed that the Stop TB Partnership in Nigeria, will be holding a national TB conference in Abuja from 17 through 18th and a Lagos Dinner on the 14th to address funding gap. According to him, Lagos has the highest TB burden in Nigeria due to high population and congregate settings.

The National Cordinator, National Tuberculosis and leprosy Control programme, Adebola Lawanson said Nigeria and Indian equally accounted for 48 per cent of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people and for 43 per cent of the combined total TB deaths in HIV-negative and HIV-positive people.

The National Cordinator who was represented by Ahmad Ozi, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Health added that also informed that TB case finding is much higher among children (aged 0- I 4years) with a child proportion of 7 per cent for 20 I 7. He said children are more vulnerable to TB and children founf around TB patients must be properly screened.

Lawanson further noted that the planned which is expected to have at least 3,000 participants is an opportunity to bring together think tanks in the TB world globally in our door step here in Nigeria to rub minds together and exhibit laudable innovations and new technologies and discoveries in the World of Tuberculosis.

He said, ” It is a way to share ideas from researches that have been conducted through symposiums and presentations of research works that have been piloted and implemented and have been proven to be very effective.”

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