ABUJA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria has the highest number of tuberculosis infection within the African region, and among the top ten countries globally, according to data by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.
The infectious disease causes over 1.5 million global deaths annually, said Tereza Kasaeva, a representative of WHO in Africa, when she led a delegation to the president of the Nigerian Senate in Abuja.
"Just a few facts for your attention about tuberculosis globally: it is an old disease but still number one infectious disease killer in the world," Kasaeva said.
Based on the data, Kasaeva called on the Nigerian government to make additional investments in primary healthcare services through urgent interventions by the National Assembly.
She said such additional investments in tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases will be needed from the domestic source. "And we quite clearly understand the challenges in the country, the budget will never be enough for the health sector and it's always some sort of struggle," she noted.
The WHO, according to the official, will continue to use all its additional advocacy to attract resources and provide all the needed technical support for the most populous African country while trying to achieve the target of ending tuberculosis by 2030.
Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Its symptoms manifest as cough, weight loss, night sweats, and fever.