Aisha Buhari laments huge gap in funding TB Control

Tasks President Buhari, governors to allocate more funds

Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has lamented the huge gap of funding for TB control in Nigeria; declaring that the situation whereby Nigeria currently has the highest number of tuberculosis cases in Africa and the sixth highest in the world; is unacceptable and must change.

To this end, she has tasked her husband, President Muhamadu Buhari and all the state governors to allocate more resources and funds to bridge the huge gap of funding for TB control in Nigeria.

Speaking at the National Tuberculosis (TB) Conference, that ended in Abuja at the weekend, Mrs Buhari said she would, therefore, used her position as Global TB Champion and Ambassador, to call and mobilise for more resources from the government at all level.

“As the TB Champion, I will also use my position to call for more resources for TB from the government at all levels in order to bridge the huge gap of funding for TB control in Nigeria,” Mrs Buhari said.

She called on all stakeholders including elected and appointed officials, development partners, civil society, academia, media, religious and traditional institutions to work more together to end TB in Nigeria.

She also assured that she will enlist all the wives of the state governors to key into the drive to end TB in Nigeria.

She said: “I promise to engage the First Ladies in all the States as TB Champions for their respective States. We have started this in Lagos as Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu was conferred the TB Champion for Lagos State during the Lagos TB Dinner Forum held on Sunday, 14 July in Lagos. I hope to do this for all the first Ladies in the country.”

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The wife of the President further urged all stakeholders to support Stop TB Partnership Nigeria because it is only through effective coordination that all can work together to end TB in Nigeria

She said the partnership can always count on her support, even as she assured them that she would be available to work together with all to end TB in Nigeria.

Mrs Buhari said: “Nigeria currently has the highest number of tuberculosis cases in Africa and the sixth highest in the world. Approximately 600,000 people become infected with tuberculosis in Nigeria every year, and it is projected that up to 60,000 of these new infections affect children. Also, tuberculosis is the most common cause of death in persons living with HIV and children.

“With the emergence of Drug Resistance TB, it is also not acceptable that Nigeria is still having one of the lowest TB case detection rates in the world as it is currently detecting about 25% of TB cases and with over 170,000 Nigerians dying annually from a preventable and curable disease.

“This is not an enviable position and situation for any country and it must change. This is why the theme of this conference is very important and strategic as it calls for all stakeholders to work together and build stronger partnerships to end TB in Nigeria.

“It is based on the need to build stronger partnerships and alliance to end TB that I accepted to be the Global TB Champion and Ambassador to end TB in Nigeria especially because of my passion in promoting the wellbeing of women and children in Nigeria.”

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