Chevron deploys equipment to combat TB in communities
Chevron and its Agbami co-ventures have deployed 25 GeneXpert machines across many communities in the country to stem the spread of tuberculosis (TB).
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 2016 World Tuberculosis Day in Abuja on behalf of the Agbami partners, Director, Star Deep-water, Jeffery Ewing, said the Agbami Co-Ventures are glad for the opportunity to key into the vision of the Federal Government’s health programme, which is essential for the economic development of the country.
Ewing, who was represented by Umaru Ribadu, Manager, Government Affairs of Chevron, added that the international oil firm and its Agbami partners have been building ultra-modern chest clinics fitted with x-ray machines since 2010 aimed at stemming the spread of tuberculosis and other related diseases in the country.
He explained: “25 GeneXpert machines have been deployed nationwide to fast-track testing rates of tuberculosis across the nation. Additionally, 26 science laboratories have been built nationwide to support science education, while over 15,000 scholarships have been awarded to medical and engineering scholars around the country.”
He further stated that in the next couple of weeks, the Agbami partners would also be partnering with some Non-Governmental Organizations to launch a tuberculosis awareness campaign aimed at sensitizing people in Kano, Lagos, Kaduna and River States on the dangers, prevention, management and treatment of tuberculosis.
On its part, the Federal Government has raised an alarm over the rising case of undetected and undiagnosed tuberculosis in the country.
The Minister of Health, Mr. Isaac Adewole stated that it is estimated that Nigeria records quite close to 250,000 deaths every year from tuberculosis, while among the 22 high-burdened countries that account for 80 per cent of global TB burden, Nigeria is currently number four, after India, Indonesia, and China.
He stressed that the 2015 global TB report noted that of the estimated 9.6 million incidents of tuberculosis cases globally, only six million cases had been detected and notified, leaving an estimated 3.6 million cases either not diagnosed or diagnosed but not reported.His words: “Of this global group, Nigeria accounts for 15 per cent of the gap in tuberculosis case notification.
The implication is that only one out of six cases of tuberculosis roaming around are detected, while five out of six roam around undetected. In other words everybody is not safe.”
He lamented that the major constraint faced by the country in addressing the huge burden of tuberculosis is the financial gap, stating that for instance, in 2015, only 32 per cent of the $228 million required was realized, leaving a funding gap of $155 million.
Adewole commended all its partners and financiers, including the Agbami Partners for their support and commitment towards ending the scourge of the disease in the country.
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