By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
In their determination to ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC), each member of the House of Representatives will buy a tuberculosis testing machine for his constituency.
This development was disclosed yesterday by the Chairman House Committee on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria, Abubakar Sarki Dajiru.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a press briefing on 2020 World tuberculosis day themed; “its time to end TB in Nigeria, Dahiru said the members are passionate about ending the menace of tuberculosis and will contribute in their various constituencies with the tuberculosis testing machines.
“In the coming week, you will see debate on tuberculosis because of the serious attachment we have for the health sector. And after this debate, I assure you that each member will buy the tuberculosis testing machines”.
On poor budget release to the health sector, Dahiru blamed the budget office for not releasing enough money to the health sector to tackle various challenges.
He however said that the house was working assiduously to ensure adequate release of funds budgeted for the health sector.
Speaking earlier, Dr. Berthrand Odume, KNVC Country Director, and Chairman, planing committee, World Tuberculosis Day 2020, said the event which with slogan: ‘check that cough, time no dey’, was meant to raise public awareness about the devastating social, economic and health impact of tuberculosis (TB).
“Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB remains
the world’s deadliest infectious killer and require acceleration of efforts to end the TB epidemic globally and in Nigeria.
World TB Day 2020 is a continuation of our joint efforts to keep TB high on the global and national agenda.
“Each day, nearly 4500 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 58 million lives since the year 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%. However, the emergence of drug-resistant TB poses a major health threat and could put at risk the gains made in efforts to End TB!
“In 2018, about 1.4 million people globally died of TB-related causes including over 205,000 children. And over 95% of TB deaths occurs in low and middle-income countries especially Africa. Nigeria is one of the countries with the high burden of disease globally. According to the 2018 Global TB Report, Nigeria is among the 30 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and MDR-TB. It ranked 6th among the 30 high TB burden countries and 1st in Africa. TB kills 18 Nigerians every hour. Also, forty-nine (49) Nigerians develop active TB, seven (6) of which are children, every hour. One of the major challenge of TB response in Nigeria is attributed to low TB case findings both in adult and children. This is as a result of low TB treatment coverage and poor knowledge about TB that influence the health seeking behaviour of people.”
He said to accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets, heads of states including President Muhammadu Buhari, came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting in September 2018.
He further called on all stakeholders to come together and collaboratively worktowards ending the TB epidemic for a TB free Nigeria.
“It is our resolve to continue to bring TB on the political agenda and build a multi-stakeholder partnership to address the socio-economic impact of the disease. We call on our political leaders to invest more on TB control, the civil society to continue to call for accountability and the media to always help in creating the needed awareness. It is a call to action to scale up; research, funding, human rights and accountability to end TB in Nigeria.”