A vibrant and responsive health system is critical to public interventions, including COVID-19, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB), Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN), Dr. Patrick Dakum, has stated.
Speaking at a conference, organised by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Abuja, he observed that health interventions have, in many ways, checked the spread of many diseases of public health concerns in the country.
Dakum submitted that sustainable interventions in the health sector could only be possible when the systems to drive quality health services are developed.
He said the institute collaborates with the government at the state and federal levels to improve procedures at the over 300 health facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Rivers and Katsina states for a better deal for people living with HIV, TB and other ailments.
The chief executive said IHVN had begun working with the private sector, including patent medicine vendors, community pharmacies, laboratories and faith-based organisations, to screen and refer tuberculosis patients for treatment across 21 states.
“In just two years, through this project, the private sector has contributed with the notification of more than 71,000 tuberculosis patients, while innovative approaches in IHVN’s five-year project to scale up tuberculosis services and find missing TB cases have led to the identification of more than 14,000 cases in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun states since April 2020,” Dakum added.
He continued: “We have supported the country through the development of infrastructures such as laboratories to diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as drug-resistant tuberculosis and even COVID-19. These interventions are as a result of the strong collaboration of the government, other non-governmental organisations and international donor agencies in the fight against public health diseases.”
Represented by Moses Haggai, the IHVN CEO said one of the laboratories that they provided technical support and infrastructure upgrade for is the NCDC’s National Reference Mega PCR Laboratory at Gaduwa, Abuja.