By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
Ilorin, July 19, 2020 The Kwara Government is partnering an NGO, Sustaining Health Outcomes Through the Private Sector (SHOPS PLUS), in training private health practitioners on how to treat tuberculosis.
The Kwara Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, said in Ilorin on Sunday that the training was for Public Private Mix (PPM) which includes private hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies, patent medicine vendors and private laboratories in Kwara
Razaq, who was represented by Dr Muhammed Rasheed, the Program Manager for Kwara State Tuberculosis (TB) and Leprosy Control, explained that tuberculosis was the leading cause of death from chronic communicable diseases worldwide.
“Every year, 10 million people develop TB and 1.6 million people die from the disease. TB is listed as a major health challenge.
“Research findings have shown that 60 per cent of the health care delivery is by private health sector in Kwara and Nigeria in general,” he said.
According to him, TB and Leprosy Control Programme has been able to notify between 800 and 1,000 people every year with over 2, 500 missing cases.
He observed that the significant gap lies in private facilities which, he said, they were trying to bridge through the PPM training initiative.
Dr Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, the team lead, also said that a Technical Director of the USAID/SHOPS plus Tuberculosis Program, commended the state government for the supportive roles in tuberculosis control.
Olusola-Faleye said the training was all about engaging private health providers, traditional leaders and people of the community in service delivery to increase TB case notification and treatment in the state.
She noted that the first phase of the training would cover nine local government areas in the state.
She added that the training was to build the capacity of the private health providers to screen, diagnose and treat TB cases.
The expert said TB could be cured by administering effective treatment to its patients , adding that all that was needed for the people with symptoms was to present themselves to the health facilities.
Dr Joseph Adeyemo, a participant and the Chairman, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Kwara Chapter, commended the organizers of the training and said as a private healthcare service provider, TB training is what the patent medicine vendor should know about.
He added that thebtraining would provide the necessary knowledge to identify clients with symptoms of TB and refer them to existing health facility.