From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The 36 state governors of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in accordance with the theme of this year’s World Tuberculosis Day – “The Clock is Ticking” – have reaffirmed their commitment to work with other stakeholders to end TB in their respective states.
The governors made a call to the federal government to provide the necessary support to the states to be able to domesticate and achieve the targets and commitments made at the United Nations High-level Meeting on Tuberculosis held in 2018.
They stated that ‘with these targets and commitments, expect that by 2022 we will be back on track in our efforts to ensure we are able to end TB by 2030.’
NGF Chairman Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi stated this in a statement to commemorate the World Tuberculosis Day on Wednesday.
He said the governors acknowledged that the day provides the opportunity for the world to intensify public awareness about ‘the devasting health, social and economic impact of tuberculosis, as well as renew our commitment to accelerate efforts at the national, state, local government and community levels to eradicate TB in Nigeria.
‘Tuberculosis is an airborne disease that affects millions of people regardless of socio-economic status. Though it is preventable and curable, it has remained the deadliest infectious disease globally. “Currently, Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest burden of TB, ranking first in Africa and sixth globally. It is estimated that about 18 Nigerians die of TB everyday which translates to 432 people monthly and 157,000 yearly.
‘Over the last decade, government and partners have implemented various interventions to ensure that people with TB are found and treated.
‘However, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic and its control measures in 2020 further impacted on the health system including TB services, setting back progress made. Despite this setback, the government in partnership with other stakeholders are working to address these challenges by: strengthening the capacity of State TB Programme to be more effective in its role; support revitalization and upgrading of health facilities to provide appropriate TB services especially diagnosis; mobilize more domestic resources for TB program and activities in the State and to establish a multi-stakeholder State Stop TB Partnerships.
‘Therefore, in accordance with the theme of this year’s World TB Day – “The Clock is Ticking”, we reaffirm our commitment to work with other stakeholders to end TB in our respective States. We also call on the Federal Government to provide necessary support to the States to be able to domesticate and achieve the targets and commitments made at the United Nations High-level Meeting on Tuberculosis held in 2018. -With these targets and commitments, expect that by 2022 we will be back on track in our efforts to ensure we are able to end TB by 2030.’