Tuberculosis Eradication: Group Calls For Greater Awareness, Better Funding

By Esther Atani, The Sight News

ABUJA—In order to raise awareness and marshal efforts to eradicate tuberculosis (TB), an airborne disease with 8-10 million new cases yearly, affecting a third of the world’s population, a group— Stop TB Partnership Nigeria has called for greater awareness and better funding to eradicate the disease.

The group, in collaboration with organizations like the United States Agency for International Development(USAID),World Health Organisation (WHO), Federal Ministry of Health and other Non Governmental Organisations, is set to hold the 2019 National Tuberculosis Conference.

Making these known in a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the Board Chairman, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Professor Lovett Lawson, revealed that the aim of the conference was to inform the media and the general public of the 2019 National TB Conference taking place on the 17th and 18th of July and the Lagos TB Dinner Forum holding on the July 14, 2019.

The events he said, would be an avenue to create awareness of best practises in TB programmes in Nigeria, brainstorm over home-grown methods for controlling TB and as well, be a platform to bring stakeholders and academia together to foster access to research on TB control.

Professor Lawson who stated that funding is a key factor in the total eradication of TB in Nigeria, added that the Lagos TB Dinner Forum would be an avenue to raise  funds.

According to him, “The country needs about 76 % more funding for TB control compared to the current funding level if we are to end TB by the year 2030 and this translates to over $300 million”.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the National TB Conference and the representative of USAID, Dr Onume Bethrand expressed appreciation for the support of partner NGOs and the media for their roles in controlling the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the Country Representative, Paladium Health Policy Plus, Dr Suleiman Dauda expressed the need for fundraising activities to work in tandem with awareness creation and advocacy.

He however recommended that TB healthcare be included in health insurance packages as well as a revitalisation of domestic resource mobilization.

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