WHO Elated As Nigeria Blazes Trail In TB Prevention, Treatment

Minister of State for Health, Barr. Ekumankama Joseph delivering his keynote address.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Nigeria made an exponential increase in Tuberculosis (TB) case detection and also, significant progress in reporting of the disease.

WHO AFRO region disclosed this on Friday, January 3, 2023 at the Mid-term review of the TB National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2021- 2025 held in Abuja.

Speaking at the review, the Minister of State for Health, Barr. Ekumankama Joseph explained that the implementation of NSP 2021-2025 had come to its mid-term hence the Federal Ministry of Health requested WHO AFRO, USAID and Global Fund to support the conduct of the mid-term review (MTR) between 23rd January – 3rd of February 2023 in the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country.

Ekumankama said the review, whose
process involved both field data collection and central desk review in 12 states and FCT, was conducted by a team of international consultants drawn from different parts of the world together with local technical staff from the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli ulcer Control programme and partners.

He noted that, from the review findings, Nigerian TB Programme had made significant increase in TB case notification with improved TB treatment coverage, very high treatment success rate, good involvement of the private sector and community in TB control,
good collaboration between TB and HIV programme

He however, informed that there was need to bridge the gap in TB financing by increasing Domestic funding for TB control, acelerate efforts towards finding and treating the remaining missing TB cases.

As well as, fostering collaboration with other Ministries, departments and Agencies, ensuring 100% coverage of health facilities in Nigeria with TB services in line with the UHC target, srengthening private sector and community engagements and scaling up TB preventive therapy.

The Minister therefore promised to ensure that recommendations made by the reviewers were implemented.

Minister of State for Health, Barr. Ekumankama Joseph (middle), partners, reviewers and participants at the Mid-term review of TB National Strategic Plan 2021-2025 held in Abuja.

Representative of the WHO, Dr. Omoniyi Fabare said Nigeria was one of the few countries which recorded an increase in TB notification cases even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fabare further pledged WHO’s commitement to support the implementation of the recommendation of the review and also use the outcome of the review to develop the new grant application that would cover the period
of 2024-2026.

On her part, representative of the USAID, Ms. Rachael Goldstay said Nigeria was an example to other countries, not only in the region but globally, for the way she adapted to new diagnostic tools and treatment regimens.

She noted that the country was at a very critical juncture for the National TB programme and “the US government is committed to providing the technical support and the on the ground resources and service delivery support to make sure that all the donor resources that are coming to Nigeria, along with the government contribution and commitment are doing the best that we can to optimise for the National TB programme”.

 

 

 

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