The funding for the control of tuberculosis by the federal government and international donors in the country is grossly inadequate, experts have said.
They stated this yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the National TB Conference and the Lagos TB Dinner Forum organized by the Stop TB Partnership Nigeria.
Board Chair, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Prof. Lovett Lawson said that the country needed 76% more funding for TB control compared to the current funding level for the country to end TB in 2030. “Other sources of funding are obviously required if Nigeria is to meet this target,” he said.
He said very little had been done to involve corporate, financial and oil and gas organization as is done in other countries to make up the difference in funding, adding that as a result of this Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in collaboration with other stakeholders would hold a dinner in Lagos on July 14 for top executive of corporate organizations to apprise them of TB.
He said the dinner meeting would be hosted by the Governor of Lagos State and attended by key stakeholders involved in TB control in Nigeria and international organizations.
“Lagos State has the highest burden for TB in Nigeria. The objectives of the forum are: To increase the political commitment for TB. And to increase domestic resource for TB through the use of Corporate Social Responsibility to support TB,” he said.
Prof Lawson also announced that the National TB Conference with the theme “Building Stronger Partnerships to End TB in Nigeria” would hold at the International Conference Centre on the 17th and 18th of this month, and that the last edition was held on the 17thand 18th May, 2016.
National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Adebola Lawanson, who was represented by Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ozi, said Nigeria and India accounted for 48% of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people, and 43% of the combined total TB deaths in HIV-negative and HIV-positive people.
She said in 2017 Nigeria notified a total of 104, 904 TB cases which is only 26% of the estimated TB cases (407,000) for the country in the same year, adding that the huge gap in TB case finding was much higher among children (aged 0-14years) with a child proportion of 7% for 2017.
Dr Lawanson said the programme in collaboration with WHO, USAID, GLOBAL Fund and other non-governmental organisations was putting in a lot of efforts to end tuberculosis through strategic interventions that help the finding of missing TB cases, and putting them on treatment.