By Fidelis Akahomen

Stakeholders in the health sector have expressed worry over low tuberculosis (TB) case finding in the country.

They have, therefore, urged the federal government at all levels to collaborate with the national TB programme to increase case finding.

The stakeholders stated this at a virtual TB media roundtable, on the theme: “Impact of COVID-19 on TB: Challenges and Opportunities for Service Delivery, Policy and Financing” held in Abuja.

The National Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), Dr. Adebola Lawanson, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much progress has not been made in TB cases finding.

He said, like other diseases, TB has been worse hit during this period due to resource relocation and realignment for COVID-19.

Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative for TB, Dr. Ayodele Awe, said COVID-19 has affected the tuberculosis program this year.

“It has affected it negatively because we have not made as much progress in finding the cases. Although COVID-19 and tuberculosis have similarities, we need to see how we can benefit from this new respiratory disease that has just entered into Nigeria,” he said.

Also speaking, the Country Director for Health Policy Plus (HP+), Dr. Frances Ilika, stressed the need for government at all levels to prioritise TB control programme.

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