Saturday, September 22, 2018
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IHVN, Stakeholders meet to review DRTB Program

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To evaluate and improve on the implementation of the Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (DR-TB) program in the country, the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP) held an annual review meeting of stakeholders from Northern Nigeria in Abuja.

The two-day meeting, which attracted 105 participants including doctors, pharmacists, policy makers, medical directors of health facilities, and community workers drawn from the northern states of Sokoto, Kano, Adamawa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), reviewed the DR-TB program funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria in their states in line with goals and targets for TB control in the country.

imagesIHVN Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Patrick Dakum, who was represented at the occasion by the Institute’s Director of Community Medicine, Dr. Anthony Okwuosah, commended the participants for their support in the provision of treatment and care for DR-TB patients. He urged them to optimally utilize the limited resources available to them. “I would like to encourage you to carry out correct diagnosis at the initial time to capture and treat drug susceptible cases so that we will continue to have less DRTB.”

At the meeting, the National Coordinator, NTBLCP, Dr. Adebola Lawanson, emphasized the benchmark of the program to provide universal access to quality healthcare for all and the need for all health workers to start doing things differently from the norm for improvement in case findings for TB. “Take proper care of the Gene Xpert machines provided by our funders for optimum performance,” she said.

IHVN Program Manager, Global Fund, Dr. Vivian Ibeziako stated that the forum is an avenue for key stakeholders involved in the delivery and support for DR-TB program at the National and state levels to review updates and deliberate on key bottlenecks affecting the program. “At the end of this particular meeting, stakeholders would have been provided with updates on the DR-TB program plan for the extension period for January 2018 to June 2019. They would also know key expectations which will enable achievement of the program deliverables and action points which are developed to address key bottlenecks in the program implementation.”

imagesA participant, Dr. Atiku Abdulsalam from NTBLCP, Abuja said that the review meeting was an avenue to raise and discuss all challenges experienced in the field working with DR-TB patients with the aim of providing solution in the management of those cases. Also, Dr. Uwajeh Akwu, DR-TB Focal Person, State Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, Taraba said, “A lot of issues have been discussed in this meeting. I am very happy with the outcome of this meeting and look forward to the implementation of recommendations arrived at during the group work especially the issues of low utilization of some Gene Xpert machines including wastage and low performance in some of our laboratories.”

Stakeholders involved in the implementation of the DR-TB program in Southern Nigeria are also to participate in an annual review meeting in Lagos.

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