Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has disclosed that the federal Government spent N430 million within the last 10 months on the control and treatment of Tuberculosis.
Professor Onyebuchi stated the multilateral effort was sequel to UN statistics that ranked Nigeria 10th among high TB burden countries globally.
Speaking in Kano Friday during the commissioning of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment Centre and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kano, the minister noted that the collaborative effort by the two tiers of government and international donor agencies is yielding the right dividends.
The minister, who was represented by a Director
in the ministry, Mr Joshua Osibanye, 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 conventional treatment.
According to the minister: “MDR-TB is more expensive to treat in a specialized centres like the one being commissioned today, and it also takes a longer time for the treatment to be completed than the ordinary TB.”
Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu stated that as part of conscious effort to address the menace of the MDR-TB, the Federal Ministry of Health has established four state of the art reference laboratories and seven treatment centres across the country.
He also added that “we have also adopted newest technology for the diagnosis of drug resistant TB.”
The minister noted that Kano centre like few others in the country is in fulfilment 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 20th 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.
The MDR-TB Treatment centre located in the premises of Infectious Diseases Hospital in Kano was made possible by the Kano state Government that provided the structure and provided the equipment, FHI 360, an International Donor Agency renovated the building and provided technical manpower to the centre.
Speaking during the ceremony, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso reiterated his commitment to invest in the health sector for the benefit of the citizens.
Kwankwaso adding that Kano can afford to sidetrack health related issues in the light of its huge populations and status as commercial nerve centre of the north.