Global Fund says it will invest about $500 million over the next three years to fight Tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria and 10 other African countries, which are classified under high burden TB countries in Africa.
Dr Eliud Wanerdwalo , Senior Disease Coordinator at Global Fund, made the disclosure during the 33rd Stop TB Partnership virtual Board Meeting on Friday.
According to him, the Fund will be providing additional $70 million to support programmes targeted at finding missing TB cases.
Nigeria is expected to get about $143 million from the total grant to improve its health system to effectively respond and contain TB for the next three years.
African countries benefitting from the grant include Nigeria , Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
“In this session, we are collectively investing about $500 million US dollars over the next three years to fight TB, Malaria and HIV this present about 45 per cent of our investment.
“So you can see how important these regions are to the Global Fund.
“COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardised global efforts to save millions of lives and provide access to essential TB care and prevention.
“Health systems are overstretched due to the unprecedented global health emergency, leading to serious restrictions in access to TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services.
“Globally, these disruptions could result in an additional 6.3 million people developing tuberculosis and 1.4 million additional deaths resulting from TB between 2020 and 2025,” he said.
“We leverage countries which we had presented today, and Nigeria will receive $143 million for tuberculosis for the next three years.
“We are very pleased to get our colleagues from the African Union to host this event for 11 African countries about their progress in scaling up their TB programs, and also the commitment to continue to support the programs, even in this challenging period of COVID- 19.
“More importantly we are willing to continue with commitment to fund the response in Africa.
“For us in the Global Fund, we believe, everyone who needs treatment should be found especially those who are in a difficult situation, those who are in a normal circumstance, and those who do not go to the facility.
“We should make all efforts to find them and put them on treatment, this will ensure that it will cut the chain of transmission of tuberculosis and the spread of the epidemic.
“We understand countries are facing unprecedented challenges in implementing this commitment this COVID period, but we would like to work with countries to ensure that they redouble their efforts, not only to recover the losses which they have experienced this year,” he said.
Also speaking, Suvanand Sahu, Deputy Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, Geneva , said the areas of investment is to improve the access in diagnosis and purchase of more diagnostic equipment and visit disease and also to improve access to data.
“We are investing in communities to be able to undertake screening and diagnosing using community health care workers across.
“ We know that close to over 60 percent of Primary Health Care seeking in Nigeria is through the private sector and there will be a significant investment in improving the network of private health,’’ Sahu said.