KNCV has been fighting TB in Nigeria for more than twenty years, with American support and hand in hand with the government. Nigeria is a high TB burden country where under diagnosis is a major challenge, meaning far too many patients do not receive proper treatment. This is one of the reasons why the KNCV-led, USAID-funded Challenge TB (CTB) project, that ran from 2014 to 2019, focused on expanding diagnostic and treatment services, through community-based approaches. Examples of these community-based approaches are the engagement with Patent Medicine Vendors (PMVs) and community volunteer, Contact Investigators.
CTB concentrated its activities in 12 priority states and helped to strengthen national-level systems. The project aligned with the National TB Strategic Plan 2014-2020 to ensure state specific interventions with the aim of improving universal access to TB diagnosis and treatment through strategic expansion of services.
The GeneXpert MTB/RIF test from Cepheid HBDC, endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for roll-out in 2010, has tremendous potential for improving TB diagnostic capacity and, as such, TB control in high-burden countries. KNCV was appointed as authorized service provider (ASP) for GeneXpert in the year 2014.
The PMVs are typically the first point of care for the majority of Nigerians suffering from respiratory problems. In 2017, 2,367 PMVs were engaged and trained by the CTB Nigeria team to identify potential TB cases and referred for diagnosis and treatment. A total of 18,979 presumptive patients were referred by PMVs leading to a diagnosis of 1,568 TB positive patients. In the case of Contact Investigators, more than 1000 people have been diagnosed and put on treatment following home visits to exiting TB patients. The 338 Contact Investigators test the family members of existing TB patients and those with a positive diagnosis are immediately placed on treatment. To avoid and prevent further infection transmission with affected families, preventative medication is provided to children under the age of five who live in households with TB patients.
The KNCV-led TB REACH project, “Scaling up Innovative Delivery of TB Care to Nomadic populations in northeastern Nigeria”, funded by the Stop TB Partnership, was coordinated on the ground by two community-based organizations (CBOs) active in three states
in northeastern Nigeria. In 2019, nearly 3,000 confirmed TB cases were diagnosed and put on appropriate treatment as a result of this project.
At end of the CTB project in September 2019, a twenty-year experience in TB program implementation with USAID funding was transferred to a local public health entity: KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria. The latter is an epitome of the ‘journey to selfreliance’.
Besides its vast technical capacity, KNCV Nigeria’s entire staff at central and sub-national levels honed its technical skills in working under various KNCV International projects in Nigeria since early year 2000. KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria is governed by a Board of Trustees (BOT) of seven members with three from KNCV International. KNCV International and KNCV TB Foundation Nigeria have developed and signed a partnership agreement.
Executive Director of KNCV Nigeria: Bethrand Odume