…Lagos records highest TB burden
…As Aisha Buhari calls for increased funding, awareness
By Sola Ogundipe & Luminous Jannamike
NIGERIA recorded a funding gap of $310.84 million or N111.9 billion for Tuberculosis, TB, control in 2018.
The shortfall is 76 per cent of the total of $409.0 million (N147.2 billion) required for the year.
Nigeria has the 6th highest burden of TB in the world and is the first in Africa, while Lagos State has the highest TB burden in the country.
Meanwhile, the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, yesterday, called for increased domestic funding and awareness for TB in the country.
Chairman of the ”Stop TB Partnership, Nigeria’, Prof. Lovett Lawson, who disclosed this in Lagos, said only 24 per cent ($98.16 million) comprising $32.72 million (8 per cent) domestic funds, and $65.44 million (16 per cent) donor funds were available to implementers of TB control services in the country.
Lagos has the highest TB burden
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner forum with the corporate sector on mobilising domestic resources to end TB in Nigeria, Lawson appealed for combined effort to bridge the funding gap if Nigeria is to meet the global goal for TB eradication.
At the event, organised by the Lagos State government in collaboration with Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Lawson said: “Total funding from the Federal Government and international donors for the control of this deadly disease in Nigeria is only about 24 per cent of what is required if we are to end TB in 2030.
“The Corporate Sector – financial, manufacturing, telecommunication, oil and gas companies – have a critical role to play through their Corporate Social Responsibility to support efforts to end the needless deaths from a curable disease ravaging our dear country. Private-sector funding from these organizations will be needed to make up the deficit in funding.”
Buhari advocates more funding
On her part, the First Lady called for increased domestic funding and awareness creation for TB in the country, adding that focus should be intensified in the areas of advocacy and sensitisation of the public.
Represented by the wife of the former Oyo State Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, Mrs Buhari, who is a Global TB Champion and Ambassador said: “The Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government has made efforts at tackling this scourge especially in infants by introducing a paediatric anti-TB formulation for drug-susceptible TB in children. We know there are still grounds to cover but efforts are being made and progress is recorded.
“While the government should come up with policies and strengthen the health centres to address the scourge, citizens should embrace safe practices that are geared towards preventing the disease even as those affected go for their treatments.”=
TB death in Abuja
Decrying the spate of tuberculosis-related deaths in Abuja, the Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, NTLCP, in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Adebola Lawanson, blamed lack of political will and inadequate funding for the TB challenge in Lagos.
Lamenting, Dr Lawanson said: “Lagos State has the highest-burden for TB in Nigeria. The challenge for TB in Lagos State is associated with TB and political will.
“Funding from the Federal Government of Nigeria and international donor for the control of this deadly disease, unfortunately, has been grossly inadequate.
“Very little has been done to involve corporate, financial and oil and gas organization has is done in other countries to assist to make up the difference in funding.”