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Nigeria records 440,000 new cases of TB yearly

By Murtala Adewale (Kano) and Charles Ozioma (Lagos)
02 December 2021   |   4:02 am
Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, yesterday, said Nigeria was recording 440,000 new cases of the disease yearly.

•NAFDAC moves for production of own vaccines, products
Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, yesterday, said Nigeria was recording 440,000 new cases of the disease yearly.

He added that over 300,000 carriers were missing from treatment cycle nationwide, with possibility of one patient infecting a minimum of 15 persons.

Despite the disturbing figures, Anyaike revealed the prevalence in new babies and children in the country.

The coordinator, who spoke at the opening of the 2021 Review Meeting of National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme in Kano, deplored the awareness deficit about the danger of the ailment, stating: “Nigeria is still harbouring huge burden of the disease, leading with highest burden in Africa and sixth globally.”

He said in spite of the prevalence, only 27 per cent of the nation’s population was aware of the enormity of tuberculosis.

Anyaike explained that the review meeting was to evaluate efforts in the last 12 months.

The coordinator said the event also witnessed the unveiling of Nigeria’s 2021 to 2025 strategic plan and implementation towards the global action of eradicating the disease before 2030.

IN a related development, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has promised to begin production of own vaccines and products and ensure their global acceptance.

Its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the disclosure, yesterday, at a press conference to mark her fourth year in office, adding that everything is being done to facilitate local production of vaccines once the World Health Organisation (WHO) visits the agency and declares it ML3-compliant.

‘ML3’ is the minimum WHO accreditation needed to oversee manufacturing of vaccines.

Adeyeye said NAFDAC “is working toward ML4 that will enable products approved by NAFDAC to be easily traded continentally and globally.”

It was reliably gathered that If NAFDAC becomes WHO Maturity Level 4 (ML4) regulator, it would have the capacity to Emergency Use Listing (EUL) with an emergency authorisation from the ML4 regulator.

However, if the vaccine is to be manufactured in a country, whose regulatory agency is not ML4 but is considered “functional for purposes of vaccine oversight,” it should be determined as early as possible what was the level of authorisation (if any) in the manufacturing country prior to EUL filing.