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Stakeholders advocate for closure of TB funding gaps

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Stakeholders advocate for closure of TB funding gaps
Stakeholders in the health sector have called on Nigerians, public, private sectors to come together and put a close the about 70% funding gap in Tuberculosis, TB in the process of stopping the spread of the disease.

Speaking at a Pre-World TB Day (WTBD)conference in Abuja on Thursday, the executive director KNCV TB foundation, Dr Odume Bethrand said Nigerians must do more to address the funding gap; invest more in human and material resources needed to control the TB epidemic.

Dr Bethrand noted the timeliness of this year’s celebration theme: ” Invest to END TB, Save Lives, and that is why we are choosing to Give more, do more & End TB Now” as Nigeria still accounts for a funding gap of 69%, and donor dependence for TB control while still accounting for 4.6% of the global estimated TB cases, with the highest TB burden in Africa, the 6″ globally and 1 of 10 countries that accounts for 70% of the global gap between the estimated global incidence of multidrug resistant TB each year and the number enrolled on treatment.

He also explained that the closing of the funding gap will afford Nigeria the opportunity for continuing to build the capacity of the front-line health care workers, expand access to TB diagnostic services — GeneXpert, Truenat, TB Lamp as well Chest x-ray services by investing more on digital portable x-rays.

The funding gap closure would also ensure for adequate supplies of drugs and essential commodities, strengthening the health system especially data management and TB surveillance system through the creation of a conducive environment that encourages TB innovations and research.

Similarly in her address, Dr. Queen Ogbuji, Ag. Board Chair, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, stressed that the theme and slogan of this year’s celebration conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

This she says is critical especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with the drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

“More investment to TB will save millions more lives, and accelerate the end of the TB epidemic. The Stop TB Partnership and all partners are calling on all those involved in the fight against TB to unite under this overarching theme and sound the alarm that the low levels of funding for the TB response year after year cannot continue nor be accepted anymore.

“Globally, of the US$ 15 billion annual funding for TB promised by world leaders at the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM on TB in 2018, less than half has been delivered. And in Nigeria, of the $373 million needed for TB control in Nigeria in the year 2020, only 31% was available to all the implementers of TB control activities in Nigeria (7% domestic and 24% donor funds), with 69% funding gap.”

She therefore call on the government at the federal, state and local government levels as well as corporate sector and philanthropists to invest in TB and prevent people from dying from a preventable and curable disease.

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Stakeholders advocate for closure of TB funding gaps

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