By Iyema David
The Stop TB Partnership a hosted entity of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), says it will ensure there are manufacturers producing test for latent Tuberculosis (TB), tools and making them available.
Stop TB Partnership, Executive Director, Dr Lucica Ditiu, made the disclosure on Thursday in webinar organised by Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in collaboration with the National TB and Leprosy Control Program, Economic Summit Group (NESG), and Anadach Consulting Limited.
According to WHO, Nigeria has the highest Tuberculosis (TB) burden in Africa, and is one of the eight highest TB-burden countries in the world that account for two-thirds of new TB cases globally, Unfortunately, Nigeria does not currently appear on track to meet the SDG3 goal to end TB.
Meeting this goal, would imply that Nigeria has reduced TB incidence by 80 per cent TB deaths by 90 per cent and has eliminated catastrophic costs for TB-affected households by 2030.
Ditiu said that the new test for latent TB would become available in few months, while noting that the World Health Organization (WHO), had issued guidance on that.
She stressed that TB was a big health threat and TB was killing more people than COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Director said that the issue about TB were under played in Nigeria and proper awareness creation was needed to get this peace killer out of the country.
Ditiu noted that the populace understands the various kinds of TB especially the drug-resistance-TB.
She said that Lagos state have the power, energy and mindset to be regarded as a country of its own because it has a very participative state governor.
In his welcome address, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor, Lagos State, stressed his disappointment on the Unfortunate incidence that Nigeria does not currently appear on track to meet the SDG3 goal to end TB.
Sanwo-Olu said that meeting this goal, would imply that the country had reduced TB incidence by 80 per cent TB deaths by 90 percent and had eliminated catastrophic costs for TB-affected households by 2030.
According to him, the State government is determined, now more than ever, to change the narrative of high TB prevalence in Lagos and its enviable position as the State with the highest TB burden.
“Of the $373 million needed for TB control in Nigeria in the year 2020, only 31 per cent was available to all the implementers of TB control activities in Nigeria “seven per cent domestic and 24 per cent donor funds,” with 69 per cent funding gap,” he stressed.
He caller on all stakeholders in the TB space and most importantly the private sector to key into the work Stop TB Partnership Nigeria was doing to increase local resource mobilization and see a Nigeria Free of TB.
The Governor of Lagos state encouraged that all hands should be on deck to flight TB just as it was done for COVID-19, HIV and Malaria.
“With reflection on the UN-High-Level Meeting (UNHLM), and the set target in which Nigeria is yet to reach the stipulate commitment.
While appreciating stakeholders in the fight against TB, Sanwo-Olu said that TB was becoming more prevalent noting that its control must be a global agenda in which everyone must show commitment and be part of the fight to bring the disease to an end.