Saturday, September 22, 2018
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IHVN, Partners set to find more TB cases in Nigeria

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To re-strategize for a better TB program, find more Tuberculosis (TB) cases and maximize available resources in the country, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) in collaboration with the Federal Government has hosted the Global Fund and partners’ Annual review meeting in Abuja.

During the week long intensive meeting of funders, partners and stakeholders from within and outside the country, actions and recommendations to improve the program were discussed. Plans were also made to pay advocacy visits for better funding and sustainability of the TB program.

Participants at the meeting also visited The Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewale, who received the delegation, commended them for their immense support to Nigeria and pledged to ensure the implementation of the outcome of the meeting.

imagesEarlier, IHVN Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Patrick Dakum, assured the Global Fund team of the Institute’s continued support to find more missing cases of TB in the country. Global Fund, Head, High Impact Africa Department, Michael Byrne, stated that Nigeria is currently 8th highest in the world when it comes to Multi-drug Resistant and Rifampicin Resistant tuberculosis cases and ranks 4th highest in Africa in under 5 mortality and maternal mortality so there is the need to aggressively drive impact, find and treat the high volume of missing TB cases in Nigeria.

“The Global Fund team is here to join heads with the national program and the government of Nigeria to learn from and build on past successes and exchange ideas for improvement on areas that require course correction,” he said.

IHVN Program Manager, Global Fund DR-TB/TB-HIV, Dr. Vivian Ibeziako noted that, “Even though we are not where we want to be, we are making head way in the TB program. The country has increased the number of functioning gene Xpert machines to over 380 and there is a mechanism in place to address challenges that are limiting the full optimization of the machines, but challenges remain”.

“There is an opportunity to scale up the diagnosis using the Xpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB/RIF) now if we fully explore and understand, in detail, the existing bottlenecks and ways to address them,” she said.

Organizations with representatives in attendance include, World Health organization (WHO), USAID, Stop TB Partnership, United State President Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP), Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), KNCV, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), FHI360, Society for Family Health (SFH) and National AIDS and STDs Control Programme (NASCP).

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