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Virology institute, GF sign pact to fight TB, others


Patient with Tuberculosis

Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has signed a pact with the Global Fund (GF) to fight tuberculosis (TB) and other ailments, to lead the country’s efforts in engaging private sector health providers in the delivery of TB services.

GF had earlier this month announced its fundraising target for the next three-year cycle, outlining how a minimum of $14 billion would help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.

At a grant signing ceremony in Abuja yesterday, the institute was mandated to work with the private sector to scale up TB prevention, diagnostic and treatment services in 20 states of the federation.

The grant will support: tuberculosis public-private mix (PPM) scale-up in Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Kogi, Benue and Oyo states.

Others are Niger, Sokoto, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Anambra, Enugu, Rivers, Imo and Abia states.

According to IHVN chief executive officer, Dr. Patrick Dakum, the grant is aimed at increasing the PPM coverage from 2.7 per cent in 2017 to 34 per cent next year, and the contribution of the private sector to finding more TB cases from 11 per cent to 35 per cent in the same period.

“In Nigeria, private healthcare providers account for more than 60 per cent of healthcare services, yet efforts at a PPM engagement in TB services have been sporadic, small and short-lived. In 2017, only 2.7 per cent of the private sector health providers were involved,” Dr. Dakum said.

He added that the institute would also handle maintenance of treatment centres and TB reference laboratories, and ensure optimised use of the 394 GeneXpert machines in the country to diagnose TB, amongt other tasks.

The IHVN boss assured that the institute would work with partners to engage community pharmacists, patent medicine vendors, traditional birth attendants, faith-based organisations and private laboratories to diagnose and treat more TB cases in the country.

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, thanked GF for its support to the country’s health sector. He commended partners like the World Health Organisation (WHO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Agency Against Leprosy (ILEP), IVHN and others for the giant strides made in controlling TB in the country.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), through the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme and the Lagos State Ministry of Health, also signed agreement with GF for the public sector support.

On his part, GF head of grant management, Mark Edington, noted that the collaboration with Nigeria was to support the country to discover more TB cases.

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