Wife of the President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has said that despite the impact of COVID-19, Nigeria has done considerably well in the fight against the Tuberculosis (TB) disease.
She stated this this at the year 2021 National TB Conference, in Abuja, on Tuesday, with the theme: ‘Sustaining a Resilient TB Response In Nigeria: Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 and other Diseases.”
According to her: “Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria still made progress in case detection and treatment. But we need to intensify effort to recover lost ground.
“It is important that we should not loss sight of TB which has been around us much longer and continue to kill people in Nigeria in an alarming rate.
“Since my appointment as Global TB Champion and Ambassador I have used my position to push TB issues among stakeholders at the National, Regional and Global levels. At this forum in 2018 , I promise to cascade this effort by appointing all the wives of governors as state TB champions and it has been a game changer as it is helping to create more awareness about TB up to the community levels. This effort has increase TB advocacy and mobilisation all over Nigeria and will help to galvanise the much needed support from the Federal, state and Local Government levels. “
While presenting a goodwill message, the WHO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, regretted that 70% of the estimated TB cases in Nigeria in 2020 were not detected despite the increase in TB notification.
This undetected TB cases, he said, continues to fuel the spread of the disease in the community.
Represented by the Deputy WHO Representative, Mr. Chimbaru Alexander, Mulombo said that being a technical partner, the WHO will be supporting the National TB programme at all levels in the development of guidelines, SOPs, adoption of new strategies, regimen and interventions in addition to building capacities and enhancing data analysis and use for optimizing performance.
“We will also support the country in the implementation of the multi-sectoral approach towards ending TB epidemic in Nigeria,” he said.