KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation Nigeria, a non-profit, Non-Governmental Organization has disclosed why it was difficult for the country to meet its Tuberculosis (TB) Control target.
Executive Director, KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria, Dr. Odume Bethrand, made the disclosure at a Press Conference in Abuja on Thursday, March 17, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that a good number of people dwelling in rural communities were ignorant of Tuberculosis, hence the need for more sensitisation.
Dr. Bethrand explained that World TB Day is an annual event to commemorate the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobactenum tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
He noted that it was a day to educate the public about the socio-economic impact of TB, adding that, KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria, along with its funding Partner, the USAID, the STOP TB Partnership Nigeria and the Government will use the opportunity to share their successes, create awareness and also highlight the key challenges that are hindering their progress toward meeting set targets for TB control in Nigeria.
The KNCV TB Boss hinted that the theme for this year’s World TB Day will be: Invest to END TB, Save Lives.
He said the theme was timely because there was still a funding gap of up to 69%, and donor dependence for TB control in Nigeria:
“Nigeria still accounts for 4.6% of the global estimated TB cases, with the highest TB burden in Africa, the 6th globally and 1 of 10 countries that accounts for 70% of the global gap between the estimated global incidence of multidrug resistant TB each year and the number enrolled on treatment.
“About 75% of TB patients in Nigeria and their households are facing catastrophic costs. Though Nigeria is 1 of 4 countries that improved case notification against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we can do so much more to close the about 70% gap in TB notification.
“To end TB in Nigeria we must address the funding gap; invest more in human and material resources needed to control the TB epidemic.
“We must do more; by continuing to build the capacity of the front-line health care workers, expanding access to TB diagnostic services — GeneXpert, Truenat, TB Lamp as well Chest x-ray services, investing more on digital portable x-rays, ensuring adequate supplies of drugs and essential commodities.
“Also by strengthening the health system especially data management and TB surveillance system, creating a conducive environment that encourages TB innovations and research”, he said.