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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Global Fund Donates Vehicles and Equipment to Nigerian Government

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The Nigerian government has taken possession of 72 Toyota Hilux operational vehicles and other essential equipment to support the country’s HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) national responses and enhance the country’s healthcare system.

Represented by the Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Pate, received the facilities during a handover ceremony organised by the Global Fund in Lagos.

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The Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation (FMINO) disclosed this in a post on X Friday, noting that the HIV/TB equipment was purchased with funding support from the Global Fund as part of Grant Cycle 6 Investments in the 2021-2023 implementation.

It added that the vehicles would be distributed across 36 states of the country to support state governments’ oversight of integrated HIV /TB programmes in the respective states.

Benefits for Nigeria

In his remarks, Mr Pate said the development is a step towards the decentralisation of responsibilities and shifting management of the national response from the central government to the states and local government areas consistent with the 2.0 agreements.

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He said the Global Fund has been a strategic partner to the federal government for over two decades, noting that Nigeria remains one of the highest recipients of the global agency’s investment, having received about $4.8 billion in grants.

The sum, the minister said, includes the grant cycle that was signed recently to support the HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria response.

“Nigeria as a contributor and a recipient of the Global Fund Financial Support, having contributed a total of $13.2 million for the Global Funds Seventh Replenishment covering the 2023-2025 allocation period,” Mr Pate was quoted to have said.

“This represents a 10 per cent increase over its sixth replenishment pledge which is a demonstration of political will.”

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The minister added that the Global Fund in the past three years has made tremendous donations of various diagnostic equipment distributed nationwide to effectively close the diagnostic gap in the management of TB and on the account of these investments.

Read also: WHO, others seek increased funding to end tuberculosis in Nigeria

Tuberculosis in Nigeria

TB is a disease caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that often affects the lungs. It is the number one infectious killer disease in the world and also among the top 10 causes of death worldwide.

Mr Pate noted that Nigeria diagnosed over 300,000 TB cases in 2023, marking the first time in its history that such is recorded.

“With this, Nigeria has now increased TB funding from 24 per cent to 68 per cent and also improved HIV treatment coverage in Nigeria between 2020 and 2023,” he said.

Nigeria ranks first in Africa and sixth among 30 countries globally with the highest burden of the disease. The Bacilli Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the only available vaccine against tuberculosis in the country.

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