The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported Nigerian health officials to save the lives of more than 581,000 Nigerians with tuberculosis.
The USAID-funded Challenge TB, implemented health facility and community-based TB case funding interventions, including health-systems strengthening, in 14 Nigerian states.
This was revealed recently by participants at a close out ceremony for the Challenge TB activity, where key TB stakeholders came together to share the results from this $40 million activity.
In collaboration with Nigeria’s National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Challenge TB provided technical support that helped close gaps in diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, contributing to improving access to TB services, preventing disease progression and strengthening service delivery platforms.
Kasimu Yahaya, 24, of Keffi, a student of Nasarawa State University in 2017 took ill and had weakness, headache and cough.
When medication did not improve his condition, he went to a USAID-supported primary Health Care Center where he tested positive to TB.
After six months of free treatment, Yahaya was fully cured, and with the financial help of Challenge TB, he has completed his education and is now a self-appointed advocate for TB awareness across Nasarawa state.
“I didn’t know all this time that the help I received was from the American people. I will be grateful always. What’s more important than help to improve your health and save your life? Without health you can’t achieve anything else,” Yahya said.
Focus states for TB Challenge included Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Enugu, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, and Rivers.
USAID had collaborated with the National TB Control Programme since 2003, having invested more than $207 million toward TB control.
This support had resulted in the establishment of more than 3,000 new TB clinics, strengthening of diagnostic capability, training for health workers, and the expansion of control services into the private sector.