The Coordinator, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr. Adebola Lawanson, yesterday disclosed in Abuja that 420 Nigerians die everyday due to tuberculosis.
She said N14.4 billion is needed to control the spread of the disease, even as 154, 000 deaths are also recorded every year.
The coordinator advocated stiffer tariff on mobile phone users to tackle tuberculosis, adding that about 300,000 undiagnosed tuberculosis patients pose public health risk
Lawanson explained that of the 105,000 cases diagnosed in 2017, 63 per cent were between the productive ages of 15 to 44.
She said that Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest burden of TB, and HIV and is also the 7th highest in the world, and second in Africa.
Lawanson stressed the need for increased domestic funding and procurement of first and second line drugs, diagnostic equipment and other commodities to end the disease.
In a similar development, the Managing Director of Total Nigeria Plc, Mr. Jean Philippe Torres, has lamented that HIV has continued to be a major global issue, where it has killed more than 35 million people across the globe.
Torres disclosed that approximately 160,000 people died of AIDS-related illness in Nigeria in 2017.
The General Manager and Company Secretary, Mrs. A.O. Popoola Mordi, represented him at the event, which also had the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA), Mr. Gbenga A. Alabi,
According to them: “Nigeria has 3.2 million people living with HIV. Only 31 per cent of the HIV positive adults and 21 per cent of HIV positive children are on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).”
He revealed that Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 220,000 new HIV infections in 2017, and is among the highest new infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
Torres canvassed a voluntary HIV counseling and testing among the Nigeria population to ensure that people know their status.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that 25 people have been killed by the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This was contained in Ebola situation reports on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was published yesterday.
The report said the outbreak remains active, as fresh cases have been confirmed.
Also, a virologist from Lancaster University, Dr. Derek Gatherer, in an editorial published in the Journal of General Virology and reported by DailyMailUK Online warned that the fresh outbreak is ‘reminiscent’ of the 2014 Ebola pandemic.
The WHO Assistant Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Dr. Michael Ryan, had reported that vaccine provides protection and hope for high-risk communities.