U.S., Nigeria intensify efforts to eradicate TB
• Agbami Co-venturers build, equip 25 chest clinics to help manage scourge
• Aisha Buhari leads fresh campaign on control of ‘wasting’ disease
Nigeria with support from the United States (U.S.) National Strategy for Tuberculosis Eradication (NSTE) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Agbami Co-venturers have intensified efforts to stop the scourge.
The parties to the Agbami Co-venturers/unit operations are Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (A Chevron Company); Famfa Oil Limited, Statoil Nigeria Limited; Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria, Mike Harvey, who spoke at a Tuberculosis (TB) Conference in Abuja, last week, stressed the need for Nigeria to pay greater attention to issue of TB.
The TB Conference held on May 17 and 18, 2016 at NICON Luxury Hotel Conference Hall, Abuja, was organised by STOP-TB coalition, a non-governmental organization.
Harvey stressed how 68 per cent of Nigeria’s tuberculosis programmes were underfunded, and stressed the need for the country to step up detection as part of efforts to eradicate the ailment.
Head of Chevron’s Medical Team, Dr. Olubukunola Fagade, in a paper presented by on behalf of Agbami Co-venturers entitled “Agbami Co-Venturers, Private Sector Investments and Partnerships in Tuberculosis Management: Health system Strengthening”, highlighted some of the interventions of the group to boost TB control.
Fagade said the Agbami Co-venturers have made enormous contribution towards the elimination of TB in Nigeria. So far, the group represented by Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a Chevron Company, has built and equipped 25 chest clinics to help manage TB in the various endemic areas in the country. The group has also embarked on TB Awareness Campaign aimed at sensitizing people on the dangers of TB and how to prevent infection, manage or cure TB.
He said the latest TB initiative by the Agbami Co-venturers kicked off with the signing of a TB Awareness Grant Agreement with implementing Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on March 15, 2016, in Lagos. “The awareness campaign is currently being done in the four states – Rivers, Kano, Kaduna and Lagos,” Fagade said.
Meanwhile, the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, is to head a new campaign to eradicate the TB prevalence in Nigeria.
Aisha Buhari, who was decorated as part of the new fight against the ailment in Abuja, yesterday, stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to fight the ailment.
Aisha Buhari represented by wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbanjo, called on all stakeholders to together to end TB in Nigeria. She also called for more or more resources to TB control in Nigeria.
Speaking, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stressed that TB was almost all thing of the past until HIV came on board.
He said: “We believe that you will not hear the same figure in the Nigeria’s fight against TB. We have no cause than to do this because we talking about unholy alliance between TB and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV).
“TB was becoming the thing of the past until HIV came on board to drive the resurgence of TB. We are not happy that we are No. 4 in terms of the incidence and global burden but as timeline of our commitment we will change the trajectory.
“We have done it for the guinea worm, Ebola, and we will completely wipe out polio in Nigeria and Nigeria shall also do so for the TB. We recognised the challenge of low case finding we have in Nigeria with regards to TB, which is under 20 per cent and the last one we had was 17 per cent this is unacceptable.”
He went on: “We will find out TB wherever it is and we are committed to doing this. We have undertaken so many approaches to enhance the Nigeria’s health system and move it to a platform that focuses primarily on Primary Health Care (PHC).
“In the next few months the federal government is to put in place 111 in the PHCs and we have identified 287 already and we have the team across the country trying to map out the 111 out of the 287 PHC’s so that we can do as a prove of concept that what we plan to do in the next two years is do-able.”
Fagade added: “From December 2004 when the Agbami project contract was awarded, Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited with its Co-venturers in the Agbami field have consistently made it a point of duty to be responsible and responsive corporate members of the community by making social investments in the areas of education health and economic development is distributed throughout Nigeria and is adding value to Nigerians.
“Agbami Co-venturers have made enormous contribution towards the elimination of TB in Nigeria… While addressing the burden of TB in the country, we also aim to address the underlying causes including weak health systems and health determinants.”
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