The Stop TB partners, a consortium of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, are set to hold the second National Tuberculosis Conference 2019.
The conference is expected to gather, scientists,Tuberculosis(TB) experts, stakeholders and donors and major players in the tuberculosis control.
Speaking at a pre-conference press briefing in Abuja, the Chairman of Stop TB Partnership, Professor Loveth Lawson, said that the conference would afford Nigeria the opportunity to build a strong partnership towards ending TB in Nigeria by 2030.
“TB, presently is a major health problem with about eight to ten million new cases diagnosed yearly, which translates to one third of the world population. With about forty five percent unfortunately in the developing countries. One point six million TB patients die each year, which is compounded by the fast spread of HIV/AIDS and poor socio economic status,” Lawson said.
He also noted that each TB patient is capable of infecting fifteen people every year, hence the need to end the scourge as soon as possible.
The chairman noted that if Nigeria is to meet the dateline of ending TB, the rate of TB decline would need to be dramatically increased globally.
He added that the forthcoming conference would discuss topical issues involving TB control.
“The two day conference aims to create an avenue to bring key stakeholders in TB control and the academia together so as to foster access to research, new technologies and innovation in the control of TB in Nigeria. To stimulate the generation of new collaborations for home grown TB research and innovation. Create awareness and promote best practices in TB programming in Nigeria. Provide platform to foster the designing of evidence based policies for improved TB control in Nigeria,” the Chairman said.
On his part, the National Coordinator of the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr. Adebola Lawanson, said that Nigeria is part of the top ten countries with the highest TB burden in the world and highest in Africa.
Represented by a deputy director in the programme, Dr.Ahmad Ozi, the national coordinator said that the forthcoming conference would afford Nigeria, the opportunity to compare notes and make progress in TB control.
He added that there is a huge gab of TB finding cases in children which the government and NGO are making efforts to find.
Partners at the briefing agreed that the conference has huge potentials to help Nigeria out of its huge TB burden.
The National Conference holds between 17th and 18 of July 2019, in Abuja.