Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, has stated that over one million Nigerians have been successfully treated for tuberculosis since 2011.
He made the remarks during a ministerial news conference in Abuja on Thursday to mark World Tuberculosis Day, which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with other partners.
Since the country began implementing the various World Health Organization (WHO) strategies for the control of tuberculosis, starting with the Directly Observed Treatments (DOTs) strategy in 1996 and most recently the ‘END TB strategy,’ Ehanire said the ministry had achieved great success with the help of partners.
However, given Nigeria’s high TB burden, the minister stated that there was still a large discrepancy between estimated and notified TB cases.
In 2021, he claimed, only roughly 207,000 TB cases were reported, accounting for only 45 percent of the expected cases.
Despite the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, praised Nigeria for a 50% increase in TB notification compared to 2020.
The commemoration’s theme, “Invest to End TB. Save Lives,” and the motto, “Give more, Do more, to End TB Now,” he said, express the urgent need for greater resources to be invested in the battle against TB.
According to him, tuberculosis remained among the top ten causes of death worldwide and the biggest cause of death from a single infectious agent, with an expected 10 million individuals infected with the disease by 2020.
Nigeria and seven other countries accounted for two-thirds of the global weight, according to him.