$40m needed to tackle Nigeria’s TB burden, says Health Minister
By Luminous Jannamike
Speaking during the inauguration of the steering and technical working groups for Domestic Resource Mobilisation for TB in Abuja, Adewole lamented that 64 per cent of Nigeria’s funding needed for the treatment of TB patients were unmet last year.
His words: “National efforts at detecting all the missing TB cases and achieving the set national and global targets are going on. Unfortunately, these efforts are being hampered by insufficient resources.
“In 2017, only 36 per cent of the total funding required for TB control was available, which is grossly inadequate to make the desired impact. In recent years, donor resources have continued to dwindle thus threatening sustainable TB control financing in the country.
“About N14.4 billion ($40 million) is needed for the continuation of investment in TB treatment.
“It is troubling that the TB burden in Nigeria continues to increase. The country is currently ranked 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries globally in the face of dwindling resources. We will not be able to control the disease if this negative trend continues.”
In her remarks, Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr. Adebola Lawanson, said about 464 council areas lack state-of-the-art GeneXpert machines, critical for TB diagnosis.
Lamenting that Nigeria was treating far less than TB patients than Benin, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, she said that 154,000 deaths were recorded from TB last year.