WHO, Others Seek Funds to Combat Tuberculosis in Nigeria

Picture from the conference
Picture from the conferenceThe punch

On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation, KNCV Nigeria, and other experts urged governments at all levels to boost investments in tuberculosis to help Nigeria reach its goal of eradicating the disease by 2030.

At a press conference in Abuja before the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day, the experts emphasized that the persistently low levels of awareness, especially in rural areas, present a major challenge to initiatives targeting the deadly disease.

Tuberculosis, caused by bacteria, is one of the top infectious diseases that often affects the lungs and is communicable through the air. It is also among the top 10 causes of death globally. Nigeria is ranked sixth among 30 countries globally with the highest burden of the disease and is first in Africa for the number of undetected cases.

On March 24 each year, World Tuberculosis Day is commemorated to raise awareness about the impact of the disease. With the theme “Yes, We Can End TB,” the 2024 WTBD showcases Nigeria’s slogan as “No Gree For TB, Check Am o."

Speaking at the event, a representative of the WHO, Dr Amos Omoniyi, noted that Tuberculosis is a killer disease globally, with millions of deaths recorded annually. Omoniyi reported that in 2022, Africa had approximately 2.4 million TB cases, with Nigeria accounting for 479,000 cases (19 percent). Out of the 424,000 TB-related deaths in Africa that year, 97,900 (23 percent) occurred in Nigeria. Despite being a curable disease, one person dies of TB every five minutes in Nigeria.

Omoniyi pointed out that Nigeria, despite having a high burden of the disease, still faces a 70 percent funding gap in Tuberculosis.

Also, Dr Bethrand Odume, the Executive Director of KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria, stressed the importance of uniting and stepping up the fight against TB to meet the commitments of eradicating the disease by 2030.

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