Improved Awareness, Funding Needed To End TB In Nigeria – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that despite accounting for high burden of Tuberculosis (TB), Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation still had 70 per cent funding gap for the disease.

National Programme Officer for TB, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Amos Omoniyi disclosed this on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at a press conference ahead of this year’s World Tuberculosis Day (WTBD) held in Abuja.

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

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

He said in Nigeria, one person dies of TB every five minutes despite being a curable disease.

Speaking further, the Expert noted that despite accounting for high burden of the disease, Nigeria Africa’s most populous nation still had 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 TB”, he said.

On his part, Executive Director of KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria, Dr. Bethrand Odume, said the theme of the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day commemoration conveyed the urgent need to come together and ramp up the fight against TB to achieve commitments to end the disease by 2030.

Dr. Odume said, this was a continuation of last year’s World TB Day theme which brings attention to TB and our collective power to achieve the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB Political Declaration targets, which will put the world on course to end TB by 2030.

He further averred that the time to accelerate all efforts towards ending TB was now more than ever before:

“We all need to sustain the progress we have made in recent years in finding missing TB cases, by scaling up key proven strategies while sustaining advocacy efforts to improve funding from the government and the private sector,” he said.

He also disclosed that KNCV was working with the NTBLPC and state TB programme in the 14 supported states to improve TB case detection in Nigeria under the USAID- supported TB LONDON project.

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.”

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