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Health News of Friday, 8 April 2022

Source: www.thenationonlineng.net

Nigeria accounts for 34 per cent of global tuberculosis deaths - Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Nigeria accounts for 34 per cent of global deaths from tuberculosis (TB), Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

He said reports showed that while 590,000 people die annually worldwide from TB, Nigeria accounts for over 200,000 deaths.

Speaking at a World TB Day Webinar organised by Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), in collaboration with Stop TB Partnership in Abuja, Sanwo-Olu called for more domestic funding to end TB, as there exists a 70 per cent funding gap.

He said: “Tuberculosis has a huge negative effect on our economy, and by extension Lagos, which carries the biggest burden. It is estimated that about 1.5 million people globally die of TB. This was according to the recent statistics on TB in 2019 before COVID-19. Nigeria is, unfortunately, No. 6 in that hierarchy and we account for about 8.5 to 8.6 per cent of global deaths as of 2019. The biggest challenge is about containing TB; that is, finding new cases. Yearly, we get additional cases.

“WHO says that in Nigeria, about 300,000 cases are missing. Also, 590,000 deaths occur annually of which over 200,000 are in Nigeria. These are scary numbers that will be worrisome. I am more concerned because 11 per cent of the total national burden of TB is in Lagos. We have the higher burden of not being able to detect, a fast-growing population.

“Unfortunately, we may still be carrying that burden as the epicentre for a while because of our population. Lagos has the largest population density in Africa.

“What statistics have showed to us in Lagos is that since 2015, we have been increasing our ability and capacity to detect a lot more cases yearly. For me, this shows that there is some positive trends. This shows that there are a lot of good things we are doing but we need to do it quicker and faster.”

The Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, Mr Mayowa Joel, added: “TB is a disease that has been living with us for a very long time. Each day, about 4,100 people still lose their lives to TB. Specifically in Nigeria, about 18 people die of TB every hour, and it is quite unfortunate that we lose many potential because of TB. Apart from very low awareness of TB, it is important to note that one of the challenges faced with ending TB is financing.

“In 2020, out of the fund needed to end TB in Nigeria, only 31 per cent was available. Out of the 31 per cent, seven per cent were from domestic resources and 24 per cent from doughnuts. This gives a gap of 69 per cent.

“We realised that the government cannot do it alone, which is why we are bringing together the private sector to be able to support the efforts of the government to be able to end TB in Nigeria. It has been done before in polio, Coronavirus prevention and treatment, among others.”

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