As mentioned previously, Applied Visual Sciences was invited, as a stakeholder, to the launching of the Nigerian National TB Prevalence Survey Report & National Strategic Plan for TB (2015 – 2020). The event spanned three days from November 18th to the 20th, and was held in the capital of Abuja.
The motto of the event was, “Support TB Elimination in Nigeria. Let’s end TB now!”
Some startling numbers emerged from the Report:
- In 2013, for every 100,000 persons living in Nigeria – 338 persons developed TB (from the 2014 WHO Global TB Report)
- In 2013, Nigeria accounted for 15% (about half a million) of the global gap in TB case notification. (from the 2014 WHO Global TB Report)
- In Nigeria, this gap equates to 83% of estimated total TB positive cases.
Much of the reporting gap can be attributed to the passive nature of TB case detection around the world. Patients must come to the diagnostic health facilities. In an active diagnostic program the healthcare diagnostic applications would be targeted and delivered proactively to the source of the disease, generally economically distressed areas of big cities or very remote villages. TBDx™ has been clinically evaluated and proven as a cost-effective screening or triage device that can be easily incorporated into an active case finding initiative. Furthermore, combining TBDx™ with a confirming molecular test can potentially result in cost reductions of up to 75%. Those cost savings could be used to offset the costs to paradigm shift to active case detection, and to positively impact the transmission rate of TB.
During the opening ceremony, awards were given to those individuals and organizations that have significantly contributed to the fight against TB in Nigeria. We are extremely pleased that our study and research partner, Zankli Medical Center, and in particular Professor Lovett Lawson, were recognized with an award of accomplishment. As evidenced by the award, Professor Lawson and Zankli are at the forefront of TB research in Nigeria.
Representing APVS at the conference was Tosh Sondh, Director of Engineering, who was asked to demonstrate the 200-slide auto-loading, high-volume edition of TBDx™. Tosh also had the opportunity to conduct one-on-one demonstrations and technology discussions with each of the Nigerian State TB program managers (NTP). Given that these managers rarely leave their states and experience new technologies, it was an opportunity for them to experience TBDx™ in action. Needless to say, interest was very high from those in attendance.
Tosh’s final trip report from Nigeria provided the following summation of the conference, “It was a very intense and emotional event, one that highlighted the need for affordable and accessible TB technologies. Many NTP managers came up to me and expressed interest in installing TBDx™ at their labs”.
Nigeria remains a TB hot bed in many ways. One from a research point of view, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Zankli Medical Centre and Professor Lawson, and from a TB prevalence point of view. TB cases are going unnoticed. Fortunately for all those concerned, TBDx™ is a low-cost, automated, and consistent technological weapon that can be rapidly deployed and utilized in the fight against TB. Due to the high interest in TBDx™, Nigeria will reside at the top of our sales efforts. World Health Organization endorsement will open the door to global funding acceptance, which in turn will provide Nigeria with the financial support to acquire TBDx™ in the coming year.
In accordance with the event’s motto, APVS is proud to commit our support to the elimination of TB in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world.