Zankli Research Centre, Bingham University And The Light Consortium Hold A One-Day Symposium In Commemoration Of World Tb Day.

Published on: Apr 11th, 2024

In commemoration of World TB Day, the Zankli Research Centre and The LIGHT Consortium organized a one-day symposium with the theme “Bridging the Gaps in Gender Transformative TB Care and Services in Nigeria". 

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Haruna Kuje Ayuba while delivering his address, stated that the symposium is important because public awareness is crucial to address harmful gender norms and practices that increase susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) and highlight the necessity for gender-transformative TB care and services. Prof Ayuba stated that there is an urgent call to action to combat the global TB epidemic, with only six years remaining to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of ending the TB epidemic by 2030. It is imperative to bridge the gap in gender-transformative TB care and services to meet these health targets and ensure the well-being of individuals worldwide.

Prof Ayuba stated that the bad news is that TB is present in all countries cutting across gender and age groups which is also the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19. In 2022, an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with TB worldwide while 1.3 million died from the infectious disease; the good news is that TB is curable and preventable. He added that global efforts to combat TB have already saved an estimated 75 million lives since the year 2000.

Prof. Ayuba stated that Bingham University is one of the leading universities in Nigeria that is at the forefront of TB research, with a world-class research center known as the Zankli Research Centre. It has a well-furnished TB research laboratory with state-of-the-art facilities that can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of TB, which is also a reference laboratory for the National TB and Leprosy Control Program of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Director of Zankli Research Centre, Dr. John Bimba in his remarks stated that the symposium is organized by the Zankli Research Centre and LIGHT Consortium. Symposiums are avenues where ideas and information are shared and exchanged. Dr. Bimba added that the theme for the World TB Day is “Yes! We can End TB. This theme is being repeated because there is still much work to be done as regards TB. 

The CEO of LIGHT Consortium Dr. Rachael Thomson in her remarks stated that she was delighted at being at the symposium. She added that Zankli Research Centre has conducted exemplary research which is highly commendable, and she finds it inspiring anytime she visits Nigeria. Dr. Thomson stated that the LIGHT Consortium is a six-year cross-disciplinary global health research programme funded by UK aid. It is led by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and works with partners in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, and the London School of Hygiene UK. Dr. Thomson stated that the whole purpose of the research is about why are some people not accessing TB care, who are they and what can be done about it. It was noticed that it was the young men and men of all ages that don’t go for treatment for their coughs which may be tied to masculinity. Dr. Thomson stated that using robust research techniques, the Consortium looked at what the patients want, what works and looking at their experiences, asking stakeholders what works and then looking at their experiences, so that the findings that are done in Nigeria can also then inform the findings that are done in other places.

Assoc. Prof Toyosi Adekeye who is the Research Uptake Manager of the LIGHT Consortium and a staff in the Department of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care stated that the aim of the symposium was to share with participants various researchers that have been conducted by the LIGHT Consortium on Gender and TB with the focus on how we all can collectively work in ending TB. 


The immediate past FCT Director of Health Dr. Sadiq Abdulraman in his presentation stated that in line with the 2021 to 2025 TB strategic plan towards eliminating TB, FCT has been implementing two prong approaches; Non-programmatic services which include: training of programme managers, school health programmes, endorsement of  MOU with Education, Social, Agriculture,  Area council and Legal secretariats; and Programmatic health care services which includes: Collaborative activities with Primary health care board (FCT PHCB).

Speaking on Gender and TB-specific activities, Dr. Sadiq stated that Training on gender mainstreaming and TB sensitization training activities focused on the general care workers, TB program staff, Gender program officers, and Legal aid providers amongst others.


In his presentation, Dr. Ebuka Ugwu provided a brief overview of the global TB burden and access to care, emphasizing that TB stood as one of the most lethal single infectious agents worldwide in 2022. The total number of TB deaths was reported at 1.3 million, surpassing the combined deaths from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and total Ebola deaths. He stated that Nigeria is the 6th high TB burden country in the world and Number 1 in Africa.  He added that in Nigeria, 98,000 people died of TB meaning 268 died daily and an average of 11 people die every hour of a disease that is preventable and curable. 

In her presentation, Dr. Obioma Akaniro who is a Bingham Alumnus and a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Health and the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of the NTBLCP, stated that The National Tuberculosis Programme has been actively implementing evidence-based practices to enhance TB care, with a specific focus on gender-transformative approaches by emphasizing the importance of stakeholders' engagement and access to services. She added that through the collaboration with the LIGHT Consortium the TB Programme aims to bridge gaps in TB care and ensure comprehensive care for all individuals.  

Dr. Obioma stated that one of the key areas of focus is screening, which plays a crucial role in identifying TB cases and facilitating timely interventions. Additionally, linkage to care facilitated through community-based organizations (CBOs), public-private partnerships (PPM), and X-ray admin assistants, is essential for ensuring that individuals receive the necessary follow-up and treatment. By incorporating these practices, the Programme strives to provide holistic care that addresses the diverse needs of TB patients.

The symposium concluded with an interactive session featuring a question-and-answer period by the participants.