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FG calls for deployment of innovative solutions to tackle high TB burden

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
30 November 2023   |   3:22 am
The Federal government has stressed the need to deploy innovative solutions to tackle the high burden of Tuberculosis (TB) which poses a public health threat to the country.

The Federal government has stressed the need to deploy innovative solutions to tackle the high burden of Tuberculosis (TB) which poses a public health threat to the country.

Director of Public Health in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, who made the call at the National Consultations on Public–Private Partnership and post-United Nation High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) organized by the Stop TB Partnership Nigeria.

The programme, which was in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) yesterday in Abuja, observed that TB is driven by stigma and discrimination and stressed the need to find out those with latent TB and immediately place them on treatment.

Anyaike stated that Nigeria needs to get the best diagnostic platform for detecting latent Tuberculosis adding that a Multi-Sectoral approach was crucial in tackling the high burden of TB in Nigeria.

He noted that people that have uncontrolled diabetes stands the chance of getting TB adding that smoking which affects the lungs is a fertile ground for the bacteria.

Anyaike noted that the ministry the Federal government has unveiled the TB Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Advocacy Project which marks a significant milestone in the battlel against tuberculosis in the country.

He observed that the establishment of the PPP Advocacy Team underscored a deep recognition of the pivotal role that Public-Private Partnerships played in addressing the challenges posed by TB on a global scale.

He said that although the previous intervention possibly contributed to the good knowledge about TB and care-seeking attitudes displayed by Nigerians, sustaining active case-finding through PPP can go a long way to reduce the TB burden, especially in rural communities where healthcare systems were generally weak or inadequate.

Also speaking, PPM Focal Person, (NTBLCP), Dr Stella Makpu, stated that the country faced a significant TB burden, and addressing the challenge required innovative approaches and partnerships.

According to her, the private sector, including healthcare providers, businesses and civil society organizations, played pivotal roles in expanding access to quality TB services in the country.

She observed that the country can address the high level of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the country by investing in precise diagnostic technologies, researching and developing new drugs and educating the public about TB, early diagnosis, and treatment were important.

Earlier, a representative, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Joel Mayowa, said that the consultation would facilitate discussion on fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors to enhance access to TB services and resources.

He stressed the need to build the capacity of team members in PPM advocacy, policy analysis and communication skills to enable them to advocate for favourable policies, regulations, and incentives to encourage private sector engagement in TB control.

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