Vanguard (Lagos)

2 November 2012

Nigeria: Within 10 Months FG Spent Over N400m On TB - Health Minister

Kano — The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has said that the federal Government expended N430 million within the last 10 months on the control and treatment of Tuberculosis in Nigeria.

Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu who made the revealation in Kano during the commissioning of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment Centre, Infectious Disease Hospital in Kano noted that the collaborative effort by the two tier Government, and International donor Agencies is yielding right dividend.

Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr Joshua Osibanye stated the multilateral effort was sequel to UNO statistics that ranked Nigeria 10th among high TB burden country globally.

The minister said that the World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 report estimated that no fewer than 3,491 MDR TB cases occurred in Nigeria annually, explaining that MDR-TB is a severe form of TB that are resistant to the conventional treatment.

According to the minister, "MDR-TB its more expensive to treat in a specialized centres like the one been commissioned today, and it also takes a longer time for the treatment to be completed than the ordinary TB"Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu however stated that as part of conscious effort to address the menace of the MDR-TB, the federal ministry of Health has established 4 state of the art reference laboratories and 7 treatment centres across the country, adding that "we have also adopted newest technology for the diagnosis of drug resistant TB.

The minister noted that Kano centre like few other in the country is in fulfillment of the commitment of the Jonathan led administration in providing effective health care system to halt and reverse disease burden in the country and making Nigeria one of the strongest twentieth economies in the world through a healthy workforce.

Professor Onyebuchi further assures that his ministry in collaboration with donor partners will continue to provide the necessary funds and technical support for the control; of TB and other diseases of health importance like malaria, HIV/AIDS and vaccine preventable diseases for the achievement of millennium Development Goals by 2015.

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