By Patience Ivie Ihejirika
The federal government has signed an agreement with Global Fund (GF) for funding support worth $71,216,215 to increase efforts in controlling tuberculosis (TB) epidemic in Nigeria for the period of 2019- 2020.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, minister of State, Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said, “As you are aware, globally, TB now ranks as the Ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS ( WHO Global TB Report 2018).”
He further stated that “TB has turned many children to orphans, taken many bread winners away with severe consequences on the economy of families and also on the economy of the nation. This trend must not be allowed to continue”.
The minister informed that over the years, the NTBLCP through the support of several partners like WHO, Global Fund, has made giant strides in the control of TB in the area of policy development, capacity building, expansion of services and provision of quality care while addressing the need of vulnerable groups and the key populations.
He also emphasised that GF has committed a total of US$ 245,997,701 to Tuberculosis Control Response in Nigeria since the inception of its 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 to adequate budgetary allocation for the TB programme to achieve the set targets in the grant and National TB Strategic Plan.
“We will also work with the various levels of government, our partners and the private sector to mobilise additional domestic resources to fill the current gap in TB funding”, he assured.
In his remarks, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Health (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.