(New Investigators)/ Stop TB Partnership, an NGO, has advocated for new strategic approach to increase tuberculosis case finding and treatment toward halting the spread of the disease as a public challenge in the country.
The Board Chairperson of the group, Lovett Lawson, a professor made the appeal while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that in 2015, governments of 193 countries promised to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 in line with the vision of Sustainable Development Goals.
According to him, the rate of TB decline is about 1.5 per cent, adding that the reduction rate will need to increase by 2025 globally if the scourge is to end by 2030.
He said “the country needs 76 per cent more funding for TB control compared to the current funding level if we are to end TB by 2030.
“Presently, TB is a major public health problem with eight to 10 million new cases diagnosed yearly, which translates to one third of the world population with about 95 per cent cases in developing countries.
“Globally, 1.6 million TB patients die annually, compounded by the fast spread of HIV and AIDS and poor socio-economic status. Each TB patient is capable of infecting 10 to15 persons yearly.”
He said TB was an airborne disease that affects all categories of people globally, regardless of economic status.
He noted that the media briefing was to inform public on the National TB Conference and the Lagos TB Dinner Forum planned for July.
He said the National TB Conference would hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on July 17 and July 18.
The conference would bring together, key actors in TB control in Nigeria and across the globe to deliberate on topical issues involving TB control.
According to him, Lagos State has the highest burden for TB in Nigeria, adding that the challenge of TB in Lagos is associated with high population, high congregate settings and political will.
He said Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in collaboration with other stakeholders would hold a dinner at the Lagos Continental Hotel on July 14.
The Dinner Forum was to increase the political commitment for TB and increase domestic resources for TB through the use of corporate social responsibility.
Earlier, Adebola Lawanson, the National Coordinator, TB Leprosy, Bruli Ulcer Control Programme, said the 2018 WHO Global TB report revealed that Nigeria was among the 10 countries that accounted for 64 per cent of global gap in TB case finding.
Mr. Lawanson was represented by Dr Ahmad Ozi, the Deputy Director of the Programme at the event.
He added that in 2017, Nigeria notified a total of 104,904 TB cases, representing only 26 per cent of the estimated TB cases (407,000) for the country in the same year.
He said the huge gap in TB case finding was higher among children (aged 0-14years) with a child proportion of seven per cent for 2017.
He said that the programme, in collaboration with WHO, USAID and other partners, was putting in a lot of efforts to end TB in Nigeria.
Executive Director Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Dr Mayowa Joel, said “the partnership is a coalition of public and private sector, as well as the academia with the aim of ending TB in Nigeria.” (NAN)