Health Ministry to develop strategic plan to end TB

Abiola Olowe, Ibadan, Oyo state

The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has said that the country is developing a national strategic plan to end Tuberculosis, which he described as a preventable, treatable and curable disease.

The minister said this during the official commissioning of lab equipment and launching of a National Standard Operating Procedure Manual at University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan.

The minister, who said that Nigeria was rated number four in the world, in terms of the global burden of TB, enjoined stakeholders to collaborate with Federal Government to change the narrative about Tuberculosis.

Prof Adewole, who expressed his gratitude to the Agbami co – ventures for recognizing the profitability of investment in health, added it was a win-win situation.

In his words Prof Adewole said  “many countries that have recorded improvement in socio-economic indicators have invested in health. If you look at Malaysia, Thailand, many of them, you will see an improvement in their socioeconomic indicators, a reduction in mortality; before they recorded an improvement in their socio-economic indicators. So this is another reason why investment in health is a must for all of us.”

The Minister, who commissioned TB Laboratory Equipment at the Government Chest Hospital, Jericho, urged all stakeholders to work with the Federal Government to ensure diagnoses were made, because 80% of TB cases remained undiagnosed, which by implication, means that only one out of every six TB cases is undetected and untreated.

He added that for the Federal Government to succeed in the fight against TB it had to go through the private sector, healthcare providers, drug outlets as well as partner with community and religious leaders to report anyone with blood stained spittle and or unexplained fever.

The UCH Chief Medical Director, Prof Temitope Alonge stated that the Reference Lab, which is the only one in the South west, has everything for proper diagnosis including Multi Drug Resistant-TB .

The project was sponsored by Star Deep water Petroleum Ltd and its co-partners in the Agbami field – consisting of Famfa oil Ltd, NAPIMS, Petroleo Brasileiro Nig Ltd, Statoil Night Ltd.