Benjamin Kalu, Member-elect representing Bende Federal Constituency, celebrated the 2019 Children’s Day at a tuberculosis program for kids. The event put together by Ogwuche Iberi Deborah, founder of Debriche Health Development Centre and parliamentary liaison officer for the West African TB Caucus, was aimed at creating awareness about the scourge of tuberculosis (TB) on children in Nigeria.
According to statistics, Nigeria is Africa’s 2nd largest TB burden country. In 2016 alone, there were 407,000 new cases of TB and 154,000 resulting deaths. Despite the scourge of TB, out of a budget of USD336 million required to effectively combat and control TB nationally, the federal government is only able to commit 9% of the required funds, while 27% is funded by donors, leaving 62% of the budget unfunded.
The Honourable member-elect pledged to work on the floor of the National Assembly to increase the political will of the government towards combating tuberculosis. He also declared his membership of the Global TB Caucus, a unique global network of parliamentarians dedicated to ending tuberculosis following the Barcelona Declaration.
See a video and pictures from the event below.