In a momentous move towards combatting tuberculosis, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has officially introduced the Tuberculosis Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Advocacy project.
Director of public health at the ministry, Dr. Anyaike Chukwuma made this announcement during an event in Abuja, organised by the National Consultations on Public–Private Partnership and post-United Nation High-Level Meeting (UNHLM), Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP).
Highlighting the significance of this initiative, Chukwuma stated that the establishment of the PPP Advocacy Team marks a critical step in acknowledging the indispensable role of Public-Private Partnerships in addressing the global challenges posed by tuberculosis. He emphasised that this strategic move signifies a collective commitment to fostering collaboration and innovative solutions in the ongoing fight against this formidable public health threat.
The UNHLM Political Declaration on TB has set various global targets, including the treatment of 40 million people with TB between 2018 and 2022, treating 3.5 million children with TB, 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB, and providing TB Preventive Treatment to at least 30 million individuals. To make these targets applicable at the country level and facilitate monitoring and accountability, the Stop TB Partnership has developed country breakdowns using the latest WHO data.
The PPM focal person at NTBLCP, Dr. Stella Makpu highlighted the significant TB burden faced by the country and stressed the importance of innovative approaches and partnerships in addressing this challenge. She noted that the private sector, encompassing healthcare providers, businesses, and civil society organisations, can play a pivotal role in expanding access to quality TB services in the country.
Addressing the issue of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, Makpu emphasised the need for investment in precise diagnostic technologies, research and development of new drugs or regimens, public education about TB, early diagnosis and treatment. She also stressed the importance of improved healthcare systems, global collaboration, support programmes for patient adherence, ongoing research and surveillance, policies for effective TB control and antibiotic use, community involvement in prevention and treatment efforts, and support for TB vaccination.
A representative from Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Mr. Mayowa Joel mentioned that the consultation aims to facilitate discussions on fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors to enhance access to TB services and resources. The event will focus on sustained advocacy to mobilise domestic resources for ending TB in the country, orientating partners about the project, setting up the PPM Advocacy Team and raising awareness among key stakeholders about the importance of PPM in TB control. Additionally, building the capacity of team members in PPM advocacy, policy analysis and communication skills is a crucial aspect of the consultation.
This groundbreaking TB PPP Advocacy Project signifies a strong commitment by the Nigerian government to addressing tuberculosis comprehensively through innovative partnerships and strategic initiatives.