Nigeria: Aisha Buhari Seeks Political Will to End Tuberculosis

Aisha Buhari.
23 September 2019

Nigerian First Lady and Global TB Ambassador, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has called for more funding to fast-track efforts to end tuberculosis (TB).

The First Lady, who made the call during the UN High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis at the UN Headquarters, New York on Sunday, 22 September, 2019, challenged leaders to increase political commitment and fulfil their promises to increase resources and support effective and sustainable partnerships to end TB.

Mrs Buhari was represented by Dr Hajo Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President, at the meeting aimed at promoting multi-sectoral action to take forward the commitments made last year at the United Nations High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis.

Mrs Buhari made reference to the last meeting of African First Ladies alongside the African Union General Assembly in Addis Ababa, where she made it clear that TB should be integrated in the fight against HIV/AIDS as that will harmonize plans and actions relating to the two related killer diseases.

"As a Global TB Champion and Ambassador, I have used my position as the First Lady to promote TB among stakeholders in different sectors, with support from Stop TB Partnership Nigeria and working with wives of state governors," she said in a statement issued by Suleiman Haruna, her Director of Information.

She called on governments, United Nations agencies, development partners, academic and research institutions, civil society, media, celebrities, patients and survivors, private sector to close ranks and ensure the implementation of the commitments made at the last meeting.

Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghabreyesus, in his speech delivered by Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General, confirmed that successes were being recorded in the fight against TB, but called on stakeholders to advance action and accelerate progress made so far.

He spoke extensively on the Multisectoral Action Framework (MAF -TB), which aims to support effective accountability of governments and all stakeholders, at global, regional and country levels, in order to accelerate progress to end the tuberculosis epidemic.

The framework, he further said, is aligned fully with the End TB Strategy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He said "now is the moment for action and the time to deliver."

The meeting was jointly organized by the Russian Federation and World Health Organization and was attended by UN agencies, civil society representatives and funding institutions as well as delegations from Russia, South Africa, Vietnam, Japan, Uganda, Zambia, Chad, Oman and Barbuda and Nigeria.

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