Nigeria inaugurates committees for Tuberculosis control

Gloria Essien, Abuja

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

The Nigerian Government has inaugurated the National Steering Committee (SC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) for Domestic Resource Mobilization for Tuberculosis Control in Nigeria.

Inaugurating the SC and TWG recently in Abuja, the Minister of Health, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, noted that  2017 WHO Global TB report shows that the incidence of all forms of Tuberculosis in Nigeria was 219/100,00.

“This means that for every 1,000 Nigerian, two are likely to have TB. An estimated 407,000 new cases of TB occurred in 2017, only 104,904 cases were diagnosed and notified which means about 302,000 TB cases were undetected and missing from national notification”, he added.

The Health Minister stressed that only 2,286 of the estimated 20,000 DR-TB cases in 2017 was diagnosed with about 17,000 missing DR- TB cases.

He informed that the missing TB cases continue to fuel the transmission of the disease, adding that one undetected TB case would be able to infect 10-15 persons annually.

He said “in recent years, donor resources have continued to dwindle thus threatening sustainable TB control financing in the country. The median cost for patients for susceptible TB in 2016 was $1256 while that of drug resistant Tuberculosis is $9529“.

To this end, The Minister said that it was evident that TB control requires considerable financial outlay.

“It is important to note too, that the cost of increasing efforts was even much higher, so in order to Mobilize Domestic Resources towards addressing the huge funding gap in TB control, we have established the Domestic Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Steering Committee (SC) for Tuberculosis Control’’.

Professor Adewole emphasized that the responsibility of the Domestic Resource Mobilization for SC and TWG was to support the Ministry in its effort to oversee the implementation and coordination of TB financing reforms which are aimed at ensuring universal access to prevention, detection and treatment for TB.

He added that it was aimed at eradicating TB and ensured a Tuberculosis Free Nigeria.

The Terms of References

The terms of reference of the DRM Steering Committee are to:

Set the policy and programming direction for DRM for TB in Nigeria.

Galvanize domestic resource mobilization for TB efforts in Nigeria in order to ensure universal access to TB services for a TB free Nigeria, among others.

While the TORs of the DRM TWG are to:

Engage all the stakeholders in Nigeria to mobilize sustainable funding and other support for the TB control efforts towards ending TB in Nigeria.

Facilitate increased political and social support for TB control policies and programmes in Nigeria.

To Coordinate advocacy efforts aimed at achieving TB financing reforms.

Oversee the implementation of policy ,legal and institutional reforms aimed at improving the TB financing landscape in Nigeria.

And recommend on the appropriate mix of TB financing mechanisms.

In her presentation, the National Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme,Dr. Adebola Lawason, informed that Tuberculosis remains a major public health  problem globally and especially in Nigeria, adding that Nigeria was 7th among the 30 countries with highest burden of TB cases globally and 2nd in Africa.

She pointed out ‘’ an increase in domestic funding is needed if we must achieve the END TB strategy which is an integral part of the ‘’ transforming our world:’’ the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals’’.     

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