by Francis Okoye
After the world TB day, 2018 celebrations,

with the focus on ‘wanted leaders for a free TB world, who would build commitment to end TB at all levels of government’, the chairman, Civil Society for the eradication of TB in Nigeria, known also as TB NETWORK NIGERIA, Dr Baba –gana Adams has revealed what Nigerian leaders must do urgently to end TB by 2030 in an exclusive interview.

The TB activist who started his work in TB ravaged Nigeria in 2006, while still a lecturer at the Borno State College of Agriculture, was invited to Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, in the northern part of Nigeria to do something about TB in the area, which was leading to the death of many TB patients.
In 2010 Dr Adams registered TB NETWORK NIGERIA as a non-profit in Nigeria ,together with the other TB activists like Tony Nwosu, Daniel Orji, Layinde Akanji, Dr Jubril Yusuf, CMD, Tafewa Belewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Steven Bamide,Dronona Akoma ,Babatunde Oladapo and others. The body has two trustees from each of the six geo political zones in Nigeria, with each state in Nigeria, having a focal person, totaling 36 persons and one for the capital, Abuja.
He was a founding member of the country coordinating mechanisms CCM in Nigeria on TB and reveals that TB NETWORK was already working for many years, before the global fund was established, they were buying TB drugs from Belgium and giving to TB patients freely as well as offering food therapy for TB patients.
On the TB situation in Nigeria,Dr Adams commended the government for allowing TB activists and TB organizations like Civil society organizations, Community based organizations, non-governmental organizations, Faith based organizations, a free hand to work in this area. Also the government needs commendation for paying for all health professionals working on TB and MDR-TB sectors.
The TB NETWORK chairman said they were need for the Federal government to double funding of TB like in South Africa, and like in South Africa, invest 90 % of all the funds needed for TB programmes in the country. India has taken the lead in funding of TB; our health minister was there in India, when India launched its new TB PROGRAMME, which includes giving support to TB PATIENTS.
Here are the things Nigeria leaders must do to end TB by 2030
• SUPPORT-give N 5000 monthly as support to every TB PATIENT in Nigeria.

• INCREASE LOCAL FUNDING OF TB-As at 2017 report, the Nigerian government was funding 15% of all TB PROGRAMMES in Nigeria, while foreign bodies were funding 35%, the government need to step up funding to at least 55%, the senate,the house off representatives, the state governments, the 744 local government areas who control the primary healthcare sector should all join in the mission to increase funding for health programmes, especially TB, that is the only way to end TB ravaging Nigeria by 2030.
NIGERIA CANNOT BE DONOR DEPENDENT for TB FOREVER, they have to take the lead, the funding from government at the moment is not adequate, it has to be at least 55%, and other NGOs can now take up the rest.
• WINING WAR AGAINST HIV-Nigerian government is pumping money into HIV progammes while doing little for TB, but TB is a disease of the poor, they cannot be TB without HIV and HIV without TB. On July 20,1994, in Bangkok, Thailand, Nelson Mandela said in a speech, ‘if you must win the war against HIV, you must invest in TB.’

• SPECIAL CARE- Special attention should be paid to he care and treatment of TB patients in Nigeria, they was a memo to all states in Nigeria, that they should establish 10 to 20 bed wards for TB patients ,especially MDR-TB patients as a priority, yet most states have not done so. The federal government alone cannot be the one doing everything.

• TB REFERENCE LABORATORY.- The national reference laboratory at TB training college, Zaria recently got burnt by fire. The Nigerian government must ensure that this laboratory is restored and other bigger laboratories set up across the country, and others restored.
In Nigeria, they were a pre TB conference press briefing on the 23 march 2018 at the Sheraton hotels, Abuja ,which witnessed the gathering of all TB stakeholders in Nigeria. The honorable minister of health for NIGERIA was also there, including local NGOs, CSO’s all who talked about TB in Nigeria.
They were also visits to the National assembly caucus of legislature at Abuja and a walk from Garki market,Abuja to Utako market in Abuja on Saturday.
TB NET WORK NIGERIA received food items donated to them by GUARANTY TRUST Bank Nigeria, and instead of sharing it among themselves, they moved over to the hospital and gave it to the TB patients, to celebrate world TB DAY 2018