Wife of Nigeria President, Aisha Buhari, has decried the low rate of tuberculosis (TB) case detection and treatment in the country, as over 170,000 people are reported to die yearly from the disease across the country.
Mrs Buhari, who spoke yesterday at the National TB Conference, themed: ‘Building Stronger Partnerships to End TB in Nigeria’, stressed the need to accelerate efforts toward combating the disease while promising to use her position to mobilise more resources for TB from government.
She said over 600,000 people are infected with TB in the country every year. It is projected that up to 60,000 of those new cases affect children.
According to her, “it is also not acceptable that Nigeria is having one of the lowest TB case detection rates in the world as it is currently detecting about 25 percent of TB cases with over 170,000 Nigerians dying from a preventable and curable disease.
This is not an enviable position and situation for any country and it must change.”
Mrs Buhari also promised to engage the wives of the 36 states governors and fellow African first ladies towards forming an alliance with a view to positioning the disease in the political agenda of governments at all levels.
On his part, the Chairman, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Prof. Lovett Lawson, lamented that Nigeria’s TB case notifications have stagnated for over five years.
He said, “To reverse this trend and see that Nigeria joins other nations in moving towards the 2035 global TB control targets, we must all join hands in any way to create awareness about TB, devise better ways of improving access to care and bring on board stakeholders to address the $310 funding gaps.”