Health experts have decried the challenge of domestic resource mobilisation for Tuberculosis, attributing it to the non-integration of TB treatment into the National Health Insurance Scheme.
They complain that many states have not conducted an analysis on the cost of integrating TB treatment into their Health Insurance Schemes and cannot make budgetary provisions for it.
Dr. Emeka Ogbuabor, a Tuberculosis advocate, who addressed lawmakers under the Nigerian Parliamentary TB Caucus at the fourth Annual Legislative Summit on Health tasked them to facilitate the inclusion of TB services in their states’ health insurance schemes.
Speaking on behalf of health advocates and the Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Dr. Ogbuabor explained that it was important for lawmakers to also ensure the actual release of funds even after budgetary provisions.
‘‘We do not have adequate legislative framework required for TB implementation or TB treatment under the public healthcare system’’
‘‘The legislators must provide oversight on policies related to TB control at the various state houses of Assembly, legislators need to hold those responsible for the control of this disease accountable
He also called on lawmakers to put TB on their political agenda stressing the urgency to make the infection a developmental issue in Nigeria.
He explained that if legislators commit to TB control at the national and state levels, it will complement the efforts of the government and donor partners in fighting the disease.
Dr. Ogbuabor also noted that drug-resistant TB cases have become prevalent in Nigeria, warning, that its continued transmission among patients will increase the burden of managing the disease.
He warned that only 11% of Nigeria’s drug-resistant TB cases are diagnosed and only about 80% enrolled in treatment.
‘‘We are not notified of more cases because only about 30% of Nigeria’s health institutions have TB treatment facility while only about 8% can even diagnose the disease, yet an estimated 18 people die from TB related courses every hour, meaning we lose 482 persons every day to TB in Nigeria.
The TB control advocate warned lawmakers that the index is a serious call to action to ensure TB is prioritized within the context of Universal Health Coverage.