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Nigeria may not meet 2030 global target of ending TB, $250b needed yearly to fight disease globally

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
08 August 2022   |   2:41 am
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Nigeria is not on track in achieving the 2030 global target of ending Tuberculosis (TB) epidemic due to the high number of undetected cases in the country.

PHOTO: yourgenome.org

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Nigeria is not on track to achieving the 2030 global target of ending Tuberculosis (TB) epidemic due to the high number of undetected cases in the country.

Available statistics show that Nigeria records over 440,000 new TB infections yearly and has 300,000 missing cases of the disease hidden in 14 states of the federation.

Meanwhile, about $250 billion is needed yearly to fight TB globally.

WHO National Professional Officer (TB/HIV) in Nigeria, Dr. Amos Omoniyi, lamented that paucity of funds was a contributing factor to the setback in the efforts being made to end TB in Nigeria, adding that about 70 per cent of TB budget in 2021 was not released.

Omoniyi, during a virtual media roundtable with the theme, “Journey to end TB by 2030: How far are we?” stressed the need for the country to prioritise investment in TB awareness especially in the communities where a lot of cases are still undetected and also promote policies that would help the country to eradicate the disease.

The media roundtable was organised by the Stop TB Partnership Nigeria and the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP).

He said: “We are not on the right track to achieve the 2030 target due to the high number of missing TB cases, there are a lot of cases in the communities that are not detected, our case increase in 2021 was 60 per cent and this is not good enough. We need to continue to strengthen policies and programmes that can promote the eradication of Tuberculosis in the country.”

Omoniyi emphasised the need for government to show political commitments and increased domestic funding, saying Nigeria has no reason not to eradicate TB given its level of commitment.

Also speaking, Deputy Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership Geneva, Dr. Sahu Savunand, explained that out of the $250 billion required to fight TB globally, $157.2 billion is for TB prevention and care, $52.6 billion for immunisations when new vaccines become available, while the remaining $40.2 billion is for accelerating the development of new TB medicines, treatment regimens, and diagnostics.

He noted that the Global Plan to End TB, 2023-2030 is a plan for ending TB as a public health challenge by 2030 and also provides a blueprint of priorities, required actions and a detailed estimate of financial resources needed to end TB.

On his part, the National Coordinator of the NTBLCP, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, stated that out-of-pocket expenditure in accessing TB care further complicates the treatment of TB in the country, adding that funding for TB diagnoses and treatment has continued to fall below expectations thereby threatening the nation’s ability to achieve its plan.

He stressed the need for increased investment in TB from domestic sources and international donors to enable the country to implement the 2021 – 2025 TB strategic plan, which is a plan toward achieving SDG goal of ending TB by 2030.

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