BY Fidelis Akahomen
Global Fund has said that it will invest about 500 million dollars over the next three years in Nigeria and 10 other high burden TB countries in Africa, to fight Tuberculosis (TB).
The Senior Disease Coordinator at Global Fund, Dr. Eliud Wandwalo revealed this during the 33rd Stop TB Partnership virtual Board Meeting, tagged ‘TB Response in the African Region: Unprecedented Actions for Unprecedented Times.
According to Dr. Wandwalo, Nigeria is expected to receive $143m for tuberculosis for the next three years, to improve its health facility and strengthen its fight against the deadly TB bacteria.
“We are collectively investing about $500M over the next three years to fight TB, Malaria and HIV. This present about 45 per cent of our investment. So you can see how important these regions are to the Global Fund.”
“We leverage countries which we had presented today, and Nigeria will receive $143M for Tuberculosis for the next three years,” he said.
He noted that the fund will be providing additional 70 million to support programmes targeted at finding missing TB cases.
Wandwalo further stated that Global Fund is committed to the eradication of TB around the world hence its decision to invest 12.7 billion dollars around the world in low and middle income countries to fight TB, malaria and HIV.
“For us at Global Fund, we believe that everyone who needs treatment should be found, especially those who are in difficult situations, those who are in normal circumstances and those who do not go to the facility. We must make all effort to find them and put them on treatment, this will cut the chain of transmission of tuberculosis and the spread of the epidemic,” Wandwalo added.
Also speaking, Deputy Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership Secretariat Geneva, Suvanand Sahu called for more political commitment in the fight against TB in the affected African countries.
He advocated for more funding and investment, to support the global funding to address the number one killer disease in the world (TB), as according to him, a number of countries were not on track to meet the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) target of 2022.
“We are investing in communities to be able to undertake screening and diagnosing using community health care workers across. We know that close to over 60 percent of Primary Health Care seeking in Nigeria is through the private sector and there will be a significant investment in improving the network of private health.”
On his part, Nigeria’s health minister, Osagie Ehanire in his speech said: “The scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the progress made in ending TB epidemic, with possible increase in the number of deaths this year.”
“We need to urgently scale up access to TB preventive therapy (TPT) and support innovations and researches for ending TB epidemic in our respective countries,” he said.