Home News IHVN expands access to TB services 

IHVN expands access to TB services 

by Haruna Gimba

By Iyemah David

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) said it will partner with key funders like the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to extend TB services, particularly targeting underserved communities.

Dr Temitope Adetiba, the Senior Manager and TB Lead, Global Fund Project at IHVN, disclosed this at a pre-world TB Day news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

The World TB Day is marked on March 24 every year to create awareness about the impact of the disease.

The theme of the 2024 WTBD is “Yes, We Can End TB” and Nigeria’s slogan is “No Gree For TB, Check Am O.”

The World TB Day 2024 underscores the urgent need for collective action to fulfil commitments to eradicate tuberculosis by 2030.

Adetiba, therefore, highlighted IHVN’s strategic approach to address the gap in TB service access.

He said “by recognising that a significant portion of Nigerians seek healthcare in the private sector initially, IHVN engaged patent medicine vendors, community pharmacists and traditional healers to expand TB services reach.

“Over the past five years, IHVN’s collaborative efforts with partners across 31 states resulted in the notification of over 200,000 people affected by TB.

“Through innovative initiatives such as training private sector healthcare providers and ensuring quality-assured TB services, IHVN made significant strides in increasing TB diagnosis and treatment coverage across Nigeria.”

He added that the ongoing Global Fund grant was further scaling up TB services nationwide, with focus on enhancing access in every state of the federation.

Additionally, he said, IHVN’s USAID TB-LON 3 project operating in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, and Osun states, underscored the commitment to extending TB prevention, care and treatment services to all Nigerians.

He said “collaboration with the National TB programme and support from the Global Fund also facilitated the optimisation of diagnostics, notably through the utilisation of GeneXpert platforms.

“Equipping facilities with solar panels, batteries and inverter systems ensure uninterrupted testing capabilities, enabling prompt diagnosis and treatment initiation,” he said.

He emphasised IHVN’s unwavering dedication to support the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) and other partners in Nigeria to eliminate TB.

He explained that “through continued collaboration and innovative approaches, IHVN remains steadfast in its resolve to combat TB and ensure a healthier future for all Nigerians.”

Dr Amos Omoniyi, the National Programme Officer for TB, World Health Organisation (WHO), said TB remains a killer disease globally, with millions of deaths recorded annually.

Omoniyi said in 2022, the African region reported approximately 2.4 million cases, with Nigeria contributing 479,000 cases (19 per cent).

He highlighted that out of the 424,000 TB-related deaths in Africa same year, 97,900 (23 per cent) occurred in the country.

He said that “in Nigeria, one person dies of TB every five minutes in spite of it being a curable disease.

“It is very sad and painful that people still die from TB everyday.”

He noted that in spite of the high burden of the disease, Nigeria still has a 70-per cent funding gap in TB.

“This disease is preventable and can be eradicated if government at all levels can invest more into tackling it,” he said.

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