By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Federal Government of Nigeria and Global Fund (GF) has signed an agreement for funding support worth $71,216,215 towards fighting HIV/AIDS ,Tuberculosis and Malaria to increase its efforts in controlling TB epidemic in Nigeria for the period of 2019- 2020.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, recently, Hon Minister of State, Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said ‘’ as you are aware, Globally, TB now ranks as the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS ( WHO Global TB Report 2018). Hence, it makes it a threat to any country like ours with high burden of the disease’’.
Dr. Ehanire further said that ‘’ TB has turned many children to orphans, taken many bread winners away with severe consequences on the economy of families and also on the economy of the nation. This trend must not be allowed to continue’’, he added.
He informed that ‘’ over the years ,the NTBLCP through the support of several partners like WHO, Global Fund has made giant strides in the control of TB in the area of policy development ,capacity building , expansion of services and provision of quality care while addressing the need of vulnerable groups and the key populations’’
He also emphasised that ‘’ Global Fund has committed a total of US$ 245,997,701 to Tuberculosis control response in Nigeria since the inception of GF support to TB in 2005’’
Dr. Ehanire pointed out that ‘’through this investment and in collaboration with other partners ,the country has treated over One Million Nigerians with Drug Resistant TB on quality treatment till date’’
The Minister pledged the commitment of the Federal Government through Ministry of Health towards ensuring adequate budgetary allocation and release to the TB programme in line with achieving the set targets in the grant and National TB Strategic plan.
He assured that ‘’ we will also work with the various levels of Government, our Partners and the Private Sector to mobilize additional domestic resources to fill the current gap in TB funding’’.
He lauded the Global Fund for their support to Nigeria health sector and also appreciated the roles played by all partners in controlling TB over the years.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, FMOH, Mr. Abdullaziz Abdullahi, said that the Federal Government was delighted to be a Principal Recipient of the grant. He also assured of strict compliance to due process and transparency in the management of the funds.
Speaking earlier, the Head of Grant Management, Global Fund, Mark Edington, commended the Federal Government for the prompt release of her 2018 counterpart fund.
He also solicited for more commitment from State Governments towards the programme so as to end the scourge in the country. In his words, “the fight against TB and HIV/AIDS should no longer be business as usual’’ Mr. Edington emphasised.