Experts Call for Increased Investment to Eradicate Tuberculosis in Nigeria by 2030

Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), KNCV Nigeria, and other organizations have urged governments at all levels to bolster investments in tuberculosis (TB) control to achieve Nigeria’s target of eradicating the disease by 2030. This call was made during a press conference in Abuja ahead of the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day.

Highlighting the pressing need for action, experts emphasized the alarmingly low levels of awareness, particularly in rural areas, posing a significant challenge to combatting the deadly disease. TB, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, primarily affects the lungs and remains the top infectious killer worldwide, spreading through the air.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, ranks sixth globally among countries burdened with TB, with the highest number of undetected cases on the continent. Despite being a curable disease, TB continues to claim lives at an alarming rate in Nigeria, with one person succumbing to it every five minutes.

Dr. Amos Omoniyi, representing the WHO, underscored the severity of the situation, citing Africa’s substantial TB burden, with Nigeria alone contributing 19 percent of reported cases in 2022. Out of the 424,000 TB-related deaths in Africa the same year, 23 percent occurred in Nigeria.

Expressing concern over the funding gap, Dr. Omoniyi noted that Nigeria faces a 70 percent shortfall in TB funding. He stressed the urgency of government intervention, emphasizing that TB is curable, preventable, and can be eradicated with increased investment.

Echoing these sentiments, Dr. Bethrand Odume, Executive Director of KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria, emphasized the urgency of collective action to achieve commitments to end TB by 2030. He highlighted the theme of the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day, “Yes, we can end TB,” emphasizing the need for collaboration and renewed efforts to combat the disease.

Dr. Odume outlined ongoing efforts to improve TB case detection in Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of sustained progress and advocacy to secure funding from both government and private sectors. He underscored the critical role of research and development in advancing TB diagnosis and treatment.


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