The recently held National Conference on Tuberculosis organized by 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,’ yielded much fruit and drew a commitment from the government.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said at the event that the Federal government would provide 111 gene expert machines, a new diagnosis tool in some selected primary healthcare centers to enhance treatment of tuberculosis (TB).
In the minister’s words, the government has identified 287 centres and health teams are trying to draw out the 111 pilot centres out of the 287 identified primary healthcare centers across the country.
Although he expressed the government’s displeasure over the country’s placement as number four in terms of the incidence and global burden, the minister was also optimistic with the recent commitment made by the government, saying, “we will change the trajectory.”
Dr Gidado Mustapha, the country Director, Challenge TB/KNCV an NGO, said the TB testing machine which was highly sensitive was faster than the microscope, adding that a total of 215 of such machines were current in the country.
He added that the machines had assisted in testing over 30,000 patients: “it has helped to improve TB case finding among people living with HIV/AIDS by 17%.”