By Abbas Aminu Bamalli
As part of its effort to fight the Tuberculosis (TB), disease in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health is strengthening collaboration and effective provision of TB and HIV services across the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan yesterday in Abuja, during a ministerial briefing to mark the 2014 World Tuberculosis day, with the theme: “Tuberculosis-free Nigeria: Find, treat and cure”.
Dr. Alhassan said, the burden of the disease in Nigeria is further made worse by the negative effects of the interactions between TB and HIV, saying, TB is the most common life-threatening disease and the number one killer among People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
According to him, this has resulted in an increase in the proportion of TB patients screened for HIV over the years from 10 per cent in 2006 to 89 per cent in 2013.
“Our target is to ensure universal access to joint TB and HIV services across the country. The emergence of drug resistance TB currently impacts on the TB control efforts in the country”, he said.
In her goodwill message, the President, Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Prof. Oladipo Ladipo said, the theme of the celebration reflects the need to actively search for all missed cases of TB in Nigeria.
Prof. Ladipo, who was represented by the Director Programs, ARFH Mrs. Kehinde Osinowo said “the current burden of the disease remains high with considerable transmission of TB in the community”.