2014 WORLD TB DAY: WHO donates gene expert machines to government

The World Health Organization has donated GeneXpert MTB/RIF machines, cartridges and other backup power accessories to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Honorable Minister of State for Health Dr. Khaliru Alhassan in order to facilitate early detection and control of tuberculosis (TB).

Making the presentation which was planned to coincide with this year’s World TB Day, Dr. Andrew Mbewe of the WHO, on behalf of the WR, Dr. Rui Vaz, emphasized that the gesture was to complement government’s efforts geared towards the provision of TB care in order to accelerate control of the disease in Nigeria.

The equipment, procured with support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and worth over $176,000:00, are expected to hasten the realization of  this year’s World TB Day slogan: ’Tuberculosis free Nigeria: “Find, Treat, Cure TB’

Accepting the items, the Dr. Alhassan who expressed Nigerian government’s appreciation for the donation, assured the WHO and other stakeholders that the equipment will be put to optimal utilization. He used the opportunity to also remind Nigerians that TB is curable and preventable.

The handing-over ceremony was closely followed with a Press Briefing by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, during which he informed journalists that a ‘new strategic plan to control TB in Nigeria is being finalized’ and reaffirmed the commitment of the Ministry to work in close collaboration with all partners to ensure successful implementation of the strategy towards making Nigeria free of TB

Goodwill messages at this year’s World TB Day were delivered by WHO, USAID, CDC, TBCARE 1 and PR to Global Fund TB grant and the civil society.  There was also an official launch of the I-CAST initiative (Tuberculosis Inter-campus Awareness and Screening Test) by the office of the senior assistant to the President on Youth and Student Matters.