Nigerian Health Minister Professor Isaac Adewole says the Federal Government will provide 1,111 gene expert machines, a new diagnostic tool for selected primary healthcare centres to enhance treatment of tuberculosis (TB).
Addressing the National Conference on Tuberculosis organized by the Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health with the theme “Hidden Face of Tuberculosis: Challenges in Identification and Management Among Vulnerable Groups in Nigeria”, he said the government had identified 287 centres and health teams across the country were trying to map out the 111 out of the 287 identified Primary Healthcare Centres.
“The pilot centres can serve as proof of what we plan to do in the next two years,” said the Minister, who added that the Ministry was working with the World Health Organization (WHO), United nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank to train human resource needs for the Primary Healthcare Centres.
“We are looking at the concept where we have at least 19 workers with six major healthcare workers in a primary health centre so that we can interface with communities.”
“We need to go to people’s homes and pick out TB from there, if we can improve the diagnosis, we will also improve the treatment and make sure that we wipe out TB. What we need is support and we believe that we can get It.”
Adewole said he was delighted that the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, was recently conferred with the award of TB Ambassador, noting that he would continue to appeal for her support “because we need her support in terms of mobilising resources to end TB in Nigeria”.
Mike Harvey, the Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria, said the agency was worried that 68 per cent of the National TB Programmes were under-funded.
He added that the 2015-2030 USAID Strategic Plan on TB had Nigeria as its major priority area and he re-iterated the commitment of the US government to support Nigeria and raise awareness on the disease.