Government pledges increased funding for TB control
Aisha Buhari leads national campaign
As part of the activities marking this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, wife of the President, Aisa Buhari, was yesterday chosen to lead the national anti-TB campaign.
This was as Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who performed the investiture, assured of increased government funding of management and control of TB, which he said presents a complex, but solvable challenge for the country.
The minister described TB as the number one killer among People Living with HIV (PLHIV), which explains why it has been included among services to be delivered in the revitalised primary healthcare centres.
“The Federal Government will continue to provide drugs for the management of drug-resistant and associated logistics. We will also continue to build the capacity for management of drug-resistant TB at all levels. While this is ongoing, we shall aggressively pursue the expansion of services for all forms of tuberculosis,” the minister added
Chairmen, Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Health, and five relevant ministers, who were also inducted as champions for tuberculosis control, will complement her in the rare task.
The ministers involved in the campaign are those of Education, Environment, Information and Culture, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Power, Works and Housing.
Speaking at her investiture, Mrs Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Cross River State governor, Linda Ayade, pledged to use the platform to garner support and raise further awareness on TB, which is considered a disease of public health importance.
She commended the Ministry of Health for the work done so far on the ailment, and called for more concerted efforts in TB control.
According to her, “Partnership is a key variable for success, and a key factor against TB, as anyone can be affected by TB.”
She added that the disease “is not written on anybody’s face. This is why a multi-stakeholder platform like the one just inaugurated, is required to raise awareness and manage TB,” she stressed.
Adewole said the nation has, “put mechanism in place to increase the proportion of TB patients screened for HIV and the results have been promising.”
He explained that as at 2014, 92% of TB patients were screened for HIV, compared to 10% at baseline in 2006. There has also been a concomitant increase in number of co-infected patients accessing cotrimoxazole preventive therapy (CPT), from 30% in 2008 to 91% in 2014.
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