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Nigeria Records Over 300,000 TB Cases in 2023, Says Health Minister

BRASILIA, Brazil: Nigeria diagnosed over 300,000 tuberculosis (TB) cases in 2023, marking a historic high, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, announced at the 37th STOP TB Partnership Board Meeting in Brasilia on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that during the meeting, the Stop TB Partnership presented insights into TB perspectives and outlined efforts to secure increased and impactful Global Fund investments in TB.

Nigeria, alongside other nations and civil society board members, shared interventions detailing experiences and perspectives with the Global Fund.

“In 2023, Nigeria diagnosed over 300,000 TB cases for the first time in its history, reducing the missing case gap and positioning the country to achieve its 2025 National Strategic Plan targets,” Pate said.

Pate acknowledged progress made while reiterating the country’s commitment to achieving 100% treatment coverage and increasing TB preventive therapy (TPT) coverage. He highlighted efforts to document strategic initiatives and best practices for addressing case-finding challenges in a high-burden country.

The minister credited partners such as USAID, GFATM, WHO, Stop TB Partnership, CDC, DoD, and civil society organisations for supporting Nigeria’s TB control programme. He also commended frontline workers for their dedication amid emergencies and crises.

“The increase in TB diagnoses is a testament to Nigeria’s commitment to tackling the disease head-on and implementing innovative strategies,” Pate stated.

Despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s TB programme demonstrated resilience, ensuring the continued provision of TB services.

With ongoing support from partners and stakeholders, Nigeria aims to build upon its achievements and further progress in the fight against TB.

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Pate emphasised the need to make TB an issue of social justice and advocated for investment in the healthcare value chain and local manufacturing of diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical equipment.

Nigeria invites all participants to join in disseminating lessons learned and best practices for addressing TB case-finding challenges at a public event scheduled for July 2024.

Tuberculosis, caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, primarily affects the lungs but can also impact other body parts. It spreads through the air and can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Symptoms include persistent cough, fever, weight loss, and night sweats, with treatment typically involving a combination of antibiotics over several months.

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