HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria are the three deadliest infectious disease killer in Nigeria. In a bid to find a lasting solution to the HIV, Malaria & Tuberculosis epidemic in Nigeria, Partners from all over the world including DFID, the United States Government, United Nations, Global Funds, UNICEF, UKaid and private contributors like the Dangote Foundation came together at the 2018 National Joint Annual programme review for tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV.
The National Joint Annual programme review was a three-day event held in Abuja between 18th-20th June 2019.
Representatives from the respective programs to tackle each disease gave reports and the review of progress made, and the challenges in the fight against Malaria, HIV, and Tuberculosis.
Nigeria currently has the highest population of malaria cases and malaria-related deaths, the 6th highest burden of tuberculosis in the world and number 1 in Africa. As at the year 2018, there were 3.1 million people living with HIV in Nigeria with prevalence in 7 states and 8 states contributing to more than 50% of new infections. There is a higher percentage of women living with HIV in Nigeria. And mother to child transmission during pregnancy is one of the most widespread ways of contacting the disease.
While a lot of progress has been made, these statistics show that much more still needs to be done to step up the fight against these diseases.
The major challenges highlighted include;
- Getting women to deliver in health facilities
- Keeping track of those who are taking their HIV medication and follow up treatments
- Shortage of manpower to go into rural areas and delay in the release of funds for procurement of materials for aid
- An urgent need to test more presumptive cases to confirm the diagnosis and treat patients accordingly to prevent the spread of tuberculosis and mortality rates of patients in Nigeria
At the conclusion of the event, participants left with a stronger resolve to do more on their part and that of their agencies to meet the challenges faced by the executors of these programmed especially funding gaps and mass education of the public. The review also served as guidance for the 2019 efforts on what areas need more work and what areas ought to be duplicated.