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Aisha Buhari to speak on global fight against tuberculosis



The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, will be soliciting for increased political commitment to funding the global fight against tuberculosis at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Mrs Buhari who departs for New York on Sunday alongside President Muhammadu Buhari, will address the General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis, on September 26.

A statement signed by the director of information to the wife of the president, Suleiman Haruna, on Sunday, said Mrs Buhari is expected as a global TB ambassador to speak to issues of increased political commitment, funding and robust partnerships.

The event will be preceded on the September 25 by a Gala Dinner organized to celebrate Global TB Champions, Celebrities and TB Survivors, where Mrs Buhari is billed to present inspiring remarks.

Mrs Buhari was appointed Global TB Champion by the Stop TB Partnership and Special Ambassador for the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV by Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in recognition of her work in health advocacy.

Nigeria is one of the highest TB prevalence countries and is ranking sixth globally.

Nigeria is also classified as one of the highest TB and Multiple Drug Resistance -TB countries in the world.

The TB burden is estimated at 219 per 100,000 people. About100,433 TB cases were diagnosed across the country in 2016.

According to the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, the fight against TB in the country has been hindered by low case finding and recurring MDR-TB.

As at 2016, current treatment rate for new and relapse cases in the country were 84 percent, while treatment coverage was 24 percent.

Also, Mrs Buhari is expected to attend the 21st Summit of Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS (OAFLA) General Assembly which could not hold at Mauritania earlier in the year.

This will hold during UNGA and she would be addressing the session which is also centered on Tuberculosis.

On the sidelines of OAFLA, Mrs Buhari will attend a number of high level events including a Stakeholders Meeting on Breast and Cervical Cancer in Africa and another on HIV as well as a strategic planning workshop for First Ladies and their Technical Advisers.

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