The United States partners with Nigeria to support the National TB and Leprosy Control Program in developing innovative ways to identify TB cases and enable life-saving treatment.
At an event organized in Abuja to commemorate this 2018 TB Day, the US Deputy Chief of Mission David J. Young said TB Day each year is aimed at building public awareness that tuberculosis or TB remains an epidemic in much of the world.
“In Nigeria alone, TB claims more than 1.5 million lives annually, according to the National TB and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP).
Nigeria is also one of the ten countries that accounted for 77 percent of the global gap in TB case-finding, having notified less than 20 percent of the total TB cases estimated for the country in 2016.
In essence, the more than 80 percent of TB cases in Nigeria that go undetected form a large reservoir for continuing transmission of TB in the country. Therefore, it is not surprising that TB claims more than 1.5 million lives annually in Nigeria,” he said.
J. Young said American Government and its people partner with Nigeria to support the National TB and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP) to combat tuberculosis since 2003 adding that they are committed to continuing the support.
“As a technical partner to the NTBLCP, we help to develop innovative ways to enhance TB case finding and enabling life-saving successful treatment. We work to increase community awareness of TB in Nigeria, enabling persons affected to seek effective and timely care. We also support the roll-out of rapid diagnostic tests such as Gene X machines and the adoption of new WHO approved treatment guidelines and regimen,” J.Young said.
J.Young said their future TB plans are to focus on awareness creation, expanding rapid diagnostics, and expanding access to services in the private sector.
“We will continue or work to improve case finding among vulnerable risk groups such as children, People Living with HIV, slum dwellers and pregnant women.
The Nigeria national theme for this year’s observance as well as the theme for this event is: “Find and notify all TB cases in Nigeria”.
Anyone can be affected by TB, including you and me. In some cases you need only to breathe to contract TB. As a result, our collective support for TB case-finding is a critical step to TB control and saving the 1.5 million lives lost annually to TB in Nigeria.
Ambassador Symington leads our mission’s efforts as a strong advocate for TB eradication in Nigeria, as you saw in the video clip we watched earlier. I join the Ambassador in encouraging you, collectively and, as individuals, to support TB case-finding in Nigeria. Your action is particularly needed in your communities,” he said.
J.Young said together, our goals are TB case finding, TB care, TB control, and possible TB eradication. We can reach these goals – for good of all Nigerians, girls and boys, women and men, across the country.