Home Finance Tuberculosis eradication target possible through private sector involvement — Stakeholders

Tuberculosis eradication target possible through private sector involvement — Stakeholders

Tuberculosis- lagospost.ng
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Some stakeholders have called for private sector involvement in government-run public health initiatives to achieve the 2023 target for tuberculosis eradication.

According to them, focused investments in TB care and treatment can help reduce stigma and improve the uptake of TB services.

The stakeholders said this at the official handover of a Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course Center for TB to Akinyele Primary Health Center, in Alimosho, Lagos.

The centre was donated by the Abdul Samad Rabiu initiative in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development.

The USAID/Nigeria Deputy Director HIV/AIDS and TB Office, Omosalewa Oyelaran, emphasised that partnership with the private sector holds immense potential to catalyze sustainable results in tackling different health issues in the country.

She added that USAID engages with the private sector in Nigeria in its drive towards mobilizing resources to counter diseases of public concern such as TB and to improve the quality of life among affected populations.

While commending ASR for its efforts in addressing health challenges that lie at the center of the development objective of the country, Oyelaran expressed USAID’s commitment to work with private organisations to strengthen services for people with TB and identify additional opportunities for collaboration to improve health and education outcomes in Nigeria.

She said, “USAID has partnered with the Government of Nigeria in the National Tuberculosis response since 2003 by funding interventions that galvanize the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of Nigerians with TB symptoms.

“USAID is proud that this partnership has contributed to a nearly 50 per cent reduction in tuberculosis-related deaths.

“The Nigerian TB programme has made huge strides toward achieving its UN High-Level targets. Specifically of note is the tripling of TB treatment coverage in the past four years—from 19 per cent in 2019 to 60 per cent in 2022.

“USAID is working to support improved case-finding strategies, scale-up of new diagnostic tools, social and behavior change, and improved quality of care.

“However, the need exceeds the resources available from USAID and the Government of Nigeria. By partnering with ASR we can expand the reach and impact of our efforts.

“With ASR’s important contribution of TB-LAMP diagnostic machines, eleven additional facilities will be able to effectively diagnose tuberculosis, which continues to be a challenge in under-resourced health facilities.

“All individuals diagnosed with these machines will be placed on treatment for TB at TB DOT centers. ASR’s renovation of these centers will go a long way in providing dignified, quality care to TB patients, in turn helping them to adhere to treatment and prevent the spread of drug-resistant TB.”

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Board, Dr Ibrahim Mustafa noted that there is a need for the private sector to support the government in eradicating some diseases like tuberculosis before the 2030 targets.

Mustafa, who was represented by the Director, Planning Research and Statistics LSPHCB, Dr Temitope Balogunm lamented that there is high stigmatisation and low awareness among the people due to the danger posed by TB.

He stressed that partnership between the private and public sectors would drive initiatives that would help in tackling many challenges in the health sector.

In his remarks, the ASR Managing Director/CEO Dr Ubon Udoh applauded the USAID team for their intervention and partnership with the Government of Nigeria to eradicate tuberculosis in the country.

He noted that with the installation of the TB machines, over 22,100 samples have already been taken in all the centres, out of which confirmed positive cases are receiving treatment.

He, however, reiterated the commitment of the Chairman of ASR Africa in investing resources toward tackling pressing developmental issues in health, education, and social development in Africa.

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