Experts have called on Nigeria and other countries to exercise stronger political will for the development of a tuberculosis vaccine that protects everyone against the disease.
They made the call during the National Consultation on Post-United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB in Abuja, organized by the Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in collaboration with other partners.
Vice Chairman, of Global Stop TB Partnership, Geneva, Austin Obiefuna, said that prevention of the disease through a vaccine would help reduce the high burden of the disease in Nigeria as well as globally.
He said the only vaccine currently available for TB called the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine only protects children and cannot protect adults.
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He said that if vaccines could be quickly developed for COVID-19, an effective vaccine could also be achieved for tuberculosis with greater political will.
“So if we push for strong political commitment, it means we can even have an effective vaccine for TB by 2035,” he added.
Obiefuna said following the UNHLM on TB, Nigeria, and other countries are expected to interpret the political declarations at the meeting, adapt them to their contexts, and also develop roadmaps towards ending TB by 2035.