Stakeholders call for production of TB vaccines

(L-R) Executive Secretary, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria Mayowa Joel, Acting Chairman, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Dr Ayodele Awe, Chairman, Central Planning Committee, Dr Bethrand Odume and Chairman scientific Committee of the conference, Professor Lawal Umar. Photo: Emmanuel Kutara

Stakeholders in the health sector have called for concerted efforts towards the production of lasting vaccines for Tuberculosis (TB).

They made the call in Abuja at a news conference to announce the forthcoming annual TB conference towards the end of the year.

The Head, Infectious Disease Unit of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Prof. Lawal Umar who is also the Chairman of the Scientific Committee stressed the need for manufacturers to explore ways to produce a vaccine for TB.

According to him, although, there was an existing vaccine for TB, he noted varying factors that may affect its efficacy.

”TB vaccine-like other vaccines relies on what is called cold-chain, that is maintaining the vaccine in low temperatures, from the sight of manufacture to the point of delivery to clients. We do have power outages that may affect the integrity of the vaccines and secondly, there is a way in which the vaccine should be injected.”     

Acting Board Chairman, Stop TB Partnership, Dr. Ayodele Awe said there was a 15% increase in TB case findings due to common symptoms been shared between COVID-19 and Tuberculosis.

‘The highest number we have ever had in Nigeria was about 138,000 cases and the previous year was about 110 or 120,000 cases. 

Some of the objectives of the forthcoming conference are; to create an avenue to foster access to research, technology, and innovations in TB Control in Nigeria and also to leverage on experiences, resources, and strategies deployed in the country’s COVID-19 response to reinvigorate TB Control efforts.

Emmanuel Kutara

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