Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Global Fund will by next year have disbursed the sum of one billion dollars ($1 billion) in aid to Nigeria to help combat fight HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB).
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this tuesday, at the first National Supply Chain Integration Project Retreat, in Abuja.
Adewole said that 50 per cent of the amount that was to be disbursed in a three-year period of 2015-2017, will be expended on procurement of commodities.
He however, warned that the huge investment, will put serious pressure on Nigeria’s fragile medical supply chain infrastructure.
To this end, the minister harped on the need to fashion out innovative approaches that will prevent perennial challenges of commodity wastages, expiries and stock outs as well poor delivery system to end users of such commodities.
He said: “Over the period 2015-2017, the Global Fund forecasts to disburse a projected 1 Billion USD in aid to Nigeria to combat HIV, Malaria and TB. It is expected that about 50 percent will go to procurement of commodities, which will put a significant constraint to the already challenged supply chain replete with commodity wastages, expiries and stock outs with significant amounts of commodities not getting to consumers at facilities.
“To address these constraints and inefficiencies; the Nigeria Supply Chain Integration Project was initiated by the Government of Nigerian and a consortium of international donors and partners.”
Speaking further, Adewole disclosed that Nigeria is investing the huge amount in the integrated supply chain management system because,“that is the backbone of an efficient health system”.
He stressed that “without supply, there is no health system. Noting stains the health system more than the out-of-stock-syndrome.
“When you have an efficient supply chain system, there will be nothing like out -of -stock, there will be nothing like it has expired, there will be nothing like go and buy outside.”
He, however, regretted that HIV, Malaria and TB infections have over the years remain a public health challenge in Nigeria.
The Minister further lamented that the World Health Organisation (WHO), estimates that 3.2 billion people worldwide are at risk for malaria and that in 2015 alone, there were an estimated 214 million new cases of malaria and 438,000 deaths.
Of these huge numbers, Adewole said, Nigeria accounted for up to 25 percent of the global cases and deaths.
He gave a breakdown that “In 2014, the global estimate of TB burden showed that 9.6million new cases: 5.4 million among men, 3.2 million among women and 1.0 million among children.”
“There were also 1.5million TB deaths (1.1 million among HIV negative people and 0.4 million among HIV positive people), of which approximately 890,000 were men, 480,000 were women and 140, 000 were children. Nigeria remains one of the high burden state for TB in the world,” he explained.
Adewole, however, disclosed following the high number of TB cases in the country, his ministry has declared 2017 as the year of accelerated TB case finding in Nigeria.
“What is also remarkable about TB is that it is treatable, but then we have a low-case detection rate for TB. That is why for us at the health ministry, we are declaring 2017 as the year of accelerated TB case finding in Nigeria,” he said.
While expressing concern for the low number of HIV patients who are under treatment, the Minister said: “We estimate about 3 million Nigerians are infected with HIV and we have been able to put about 50,000 on treatment”.
“For us, next year our commitment is to move as many people as possible from care to treatment and we are hoping that between 100,000 to 400, 000 people will have to be migrated within a short period. These are people that were not put on treatment before,” he noted