The Stop Tuberculosis Partnership and its partners have appealed to the federal government to invest resources to ramp up the fight against Tuberculosis (TB) if Nigeria must achieve the commitment made by global leaders to end TB. Acting Board Chair, Stop TB Partnership in Nigeria, Dr. Queen Ogbuji, who made the plea during the 2022 pre -World TB Day press conference in Abuja, lamented that there was about 69% funding gap, as more than half of the promised funding for TB annually has not been delivered. According to her: “The TB partnership and all partners are calling on all those involved in the fight against TB to unite and sound the alarm that the low levels of funding for the TB response year after year cannot continue or be accepted anymore.
“Globally, of the $15 billion Annual Funding for TB promised by the world leaders at the UNHLM in 2018, less than half have been delivered. In Nigeria, of the $373 million needed for TB control in the year 2020, only 31% was available to all implementers of TB control activities in Nigeria of which 7% was domestic and 24% donor fund.”
Ogbuji further pleaded with world leaders including government at the national and sub-national levels to step up and multiply the funding to save lives and end TB by 2030. Coordinator, National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buru-li Ukcer Control Programme (NTBLCP), Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, who stated that TB would only come to an end when the actual burden was discovered, stressed the need to carry out survey of TB both at national and at sub-national levels so as to help discover the missing cases of TB. “Our coverage is still not acceptable as we are not making up to half of the expected progress, we need funding as we have about 70% financial gap in the aspect of fund hence, all stakeholders needs to put their hands together in funding so as to help us find the missing cases and reduce the burden of TB disease,” said Anyaike.
Chairman, House of Representatives Tuberculosis and Malaria Committee, Abubakar Dahiru, hinted that all hands were on deck at the National Assembly to push a bill which would ensure that TB becomes autonomous. He explained that legislators were working towards ensuring independent funding for TB by allocating a specific amount to TB in every budget.