Nigeria has received global accolades for making progress in Tuberculosis case notification during the COVID-19 pandemic, contrary to prior predictions. But speakers at the 2021 National TB conference holding in Abuja have said this is not enough if the West African country must meet the target of halting the disease that is the second highest killer in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had in July commended Nigeria’s efforts and measures taken to track and curb tuberculosis (TB) in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
According to the WHO statement Nigeria recorded 15 percent higher case notification compared to the cases notified in 2018 and 2019 respectively at the time the COVID-19 was rife.
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Godwin Ehanire while speaking on the progress made by Nigeria in his remark on the opening day of the TB conference, however noted that Nigeria could achieve the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme goal with mobilization of resources locally and internationally.
Nigeria has the goal to, by 2025 achieve a 50% reduction in TB prevalence rate and 75% reduction in TB mortality (excluding HIV-related TB) rate in Nigeria compared to 2013 figures
Other speakers have also suggested reliance on real time data gathering and management of case findings using digital innovations in place of paper records as a means of achieving more progress in TB interventions in the country.
Meanwhile the wife of Nigeria’s , Mrs Aisha Buhari has offered to help in mobilizing wives of state governors across the country to support TB interventions in their states.
In a remark read on her behalf by the Wife of the Governor of Niger State, Dr (Mrs) Amina Bello, the President Wife said she has successfully mobilized the wives of all the state governors to become TB ambassadors, in fulfillment of a promise she made during the last TB conference.
According to Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnerships who spoke from Geneva, Switzerland, Nigeria has shown with the progress made in TB interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic that it could take leadership in TB intervention across Africa.