Revolutionary TB Endeavour: Janna Health Foundation Tackles 300,000 Cases in Nigeria
- Janna Health Foundation expressed concern over the high rates of tuberculosis (TB) among vulnerable populations in Nigeria despite treatment progress.
- They highlighted challenges in accessing healthcare for key and vulnerable groups like nomads, refugees, and healthcare workers.
- Efforts by the foundation aimed at TB prevention, care, and awareness among these populations were underscored during a recent validation meeting.
The Janna Health Foundation (JHF) held a validation meeting in Yola, bringing together stakeholders and partners to delve into the persistent challenge of tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria.
Despite achieving 59% treatment coverage and notifying over 280,000 individuals with TB, the Foundation expressed deep concern over the remaining unaccounted 300,000 cases, highlighting the alarming infectious nature of TB in the country.
Dr. Stephen John, the Founder of Janna Health Foundation and a Board Member of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, shed light on the distressingly high prevalence of TB among populations identified as ‘Key and Vulnerable.’
These groups encompass nomads, refugees, internally displaced persons, miners, people living with HIV (PLHIVs), slum dwellers, inmates of correctional facilities, children, and healthcare workers, among others.
Dr. John underscored the heightened vulnerability of these populations to TB due to various factors. These include limited access to health services, especially for TB, insufficient awareness about TB, inadequate BCG vaccination coverage, malnutrition, and residing in poorly ventilated and overcrowded spaces, exacerbating the risk of TB transmission.
Over the past decade, JHF has dedicated its efforts to delivering TB prevention and care services to these key and vulnerable populations, uncovering thousands of TB cases that might have remained undetected due to geographical constraints and hurdles in accessing healthcare services.
Supported by Stop TB Partnership Nigeria and Geneva, JHF’s programmes have identified and tackled barriers hindering access to TB services among these vulnerable groups, specifically addressing gender-related challenges and cultural disparities.
The ongoing TB Key and Vulnerable Population Size Estimation validation meeting by JHF is a testament to the Foundation’s commitment to prioritising TB-related concerns among these populations in Nigeria. This effort is pivotal in gauging the population size, a crucial metric essential for effective TB programming in the country.
During the meeting, the discussion pivoted towards the TB Key and vulnerable population size estimation and validation, with a focus on the nomadic communities, a vulnerable population specifically in northeast Nigeria.
Various dignitaries, including the Federal Ministry of Health’s representatives, lauded JHF’s tireless efforts in combating TB in Nigeria. Stella Ekeh, from the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja, commended JHF’s significant contributions towards making TB history in Nigeria.
Despite Nigeria’s unfortunate distinction as a country with a high TB infection rate, efforts to control this deadly disease have shown promising results.
Dr. Siraj Abdullahi echoed the sentiment, acknowledging Nigeria’s ongoing struggle with TB while expressing hope that collaborative efforts involving organisations like Janna Health Foundation, Stop TB, TB Network, and the Surfable Community Health Organisation could potentially make TB history in Nigeria, particularly in the North East region. Abdullahi, the CEO and Founder of Surfable congratulated JHF and recognised their partnership in the collective fight against TB in Nigeria.
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