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Experts advocate funding to end TB in Nigeria

Bukola Afeni
Experts in the health sector has called for more funding to end Tuberculosis  in Nigeria.
They disclosed this at a Stop TB Nigeria partnership media roundtable.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership, Dr Sahu Suvanand reiterate the need for funding and mobilisation to end Tuberculosis in Nigeria.
He emphasized the importance of funding to enable the diagnosis and treatment of people infected with Tuberculosis.
“Adequate funding will aid in ending Tuberculosis in Nigeria. We need to see the need to be fully funded as it will aid to detect more missing cases. I will like to say that globally we have a setback on TB responses, the global ban which was launched recently articulates how we can end TB.” He added.
In the same vein, he stated that there is a high level of commitment in Nigeria and this has led to the achievement of unprecedented TB case management.
“This has encouraged the funding and mobilisation that is needed to end Tuberculosis in Nigeria. From 2020 to 2022 the number of people diagnosed and treated increased by 50%. This is a significant achievement, however, we still have a long way to go.” He added.
The National Coordinator NTBLCP Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, implored the private sector to partner with the government to detect TB missing cases in Nigeria.
“60% of Nigerians  tend to seek health care at private health facilities, so we are scaling up our strategic focus towards engaging with the private health sector in the country.” He added.
He urged stakeholders in the health sector to ensure that missing cases of  TB at the community level are properly addressed.
” We would not be able to achieve much for the country if we leave the community behind. Intervention at the community level would help us fish out the missing cases, at the community level. This would enable community ownership and sustainability”.
“We must not allow all the efforts to go down,  we want to prove our momentum because Nigeria stands a chance of hitting its target if we do not move back.” He noted.
A TB survivor Tope Adams called on researchers to provide vaccines for TB just like other viral infections.
She added people of diverse ages and gender should be enlightened about Tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“It has been discovered that men are prone to dying as a result of Tuberculosis because they do not seek medical attention. Men should be encouraged and enlightened on the importance of getting tested and receiving medical help.”
Adams further noted that ending TB by 2030 is achievable when all hands are on deck to detect the missing cases.

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