Finding the Missing People with TB in the slums of Nigeria:
Nigeria ranks 7th globally amongst the 30 high TB burden countries, and 2nd in the African region. Nigeria is also among one of the strategic initiative countries that makes up the thirteen high burden countries with the most missing people affected by TB1 . In 2017, out of 417, 000 that fell ill, 312 000 (75%) were not notified by the National TB, Leprosy and Control Program (herewith referred to as ‘missed’). This number includes nearly 50% coming from the slum areas in Nigeria2 . Notably, an estimated half of the Nigeria’s population resides in slums; which provide the ideal conditions for transmission and progression of TB infection. Further 71% of TB patients are facing catastrophic costs .
As indicated above, factors that increase people’s vulnerability to tuberculosis (TB) are human rights related; their right to adequate housing, participation in decision making processes and right to sanitation and safe drinking water3 . These interlinked factors spread across and outside the health sector to include the housing and environment sectors. Ending TB therefore requires accountability and obligations from these multisectoral paradigms.
Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS):
The Abuja International Housing Show aims to establish a platform for both public and private sector stakeholders to draw inspiration in addressing sector related problems in Nigeria and even on the continent. The 13th edition of the show holds on July 23 – 26, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria . The event does not only create awareness on the major challenges in developing or strengthening housing industry and finance markets but also focus extensively on solutions of these challenges by highlighting innovations, new ideas and global experiences in the sector. The Abuja International Housing Show has been the best and most established platform in Africa for such convergence of government officials looking for informed opinion(s) on emerging housing and construction policy dynamics. It also provides the right atmosphere for private sector developers and investors looking for the best clients, partnerships, opportunities for public and private sector collaborations, and customers looking to access the best housing deals. Individual footfalls during the 4-day event is in excess of 25,000 visitors.
As part of the Abuja International Housing Show, the Roland Igbinoba Real Foundation for Housing & Urban Development (RIRFHUD) is organizing an advocacy platform to create the visibility of tuberculosis in the national housing and environment agenda. This platform will be focusing on TB, housing and environment in the context of the right to health. To action this platform, RIRFHUD as part of the organizing committee of AHIS has created a Health, Housing & Environment Track within the AIHS. This will provide an opportunity for TB related discussions and the goal is to hold this partnership platform on annual basis.
Objective of the Platform:
The platform will engage with high level decision makers from the housing, environment as well as the health sector. The engagement/discussions will focus on future collaborations and commitments in realization of the right to adequate housing, participation in decision making processes and right to sanitation and safe drinking water for slum dwellers. Very importantly, the platform will mobilize community leaders from the high TB burden slums to join the discussions. Further, barriers limiting the collaboration between the health, housing and environment sectors; and those that are acting as blockades to improving TB case finding will be identified and a collaborative commitment from the three sectors to remove these barriers will be initiated.
The platform will adopt a multisectoral approach that offers synergistic conversations with five specific objectives:
1. Orientate the housing and environment sector on the link between TB, housing and environment
2. Create an understanding of the United Nations High Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB commitments and targets among the housing and environment sector
3. Receive inputs towards the creation of a framework/working relationship for accountability and obligations for Ministries of health, housing and environment, Civil society and private sector post the UNHLM on TB commitments and targets
4. Share ideas and experiences on how the health, housing and environment sectors can collaborate to ensure that the commitments made (in 3 above) are being adhered to.
5. Create a platform for slum dwellers, to participate as equal partners, driving TB, housing and environment policy in Nigeria.
Overview of the agenda of the Health, Housing and Environment Track (HHET):
The discussion points will include UNHLM on TB commitment and targets; How housing and environment can influence, and assist health organisations to achieve their outcomes; How adequate housing and clean environment can help prevent people from TB infection; WHO Housing and Health Guidelines; Health and Housing inequalities from the human rights perspective; Economic independence of people affected by TB in the slum community; How can we inspire an effective working relationship between health, housing and environment ministries?
Speakers includes Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Minister of Environment, Hon. Minister of Health, International Health Agencies, A Community Leader/TB survivor from a selected slum, A national TB champion (To be provided by International Health Agencies).
There will be screening for latent TB – Over the 4-day period of the event amongst the over 25,000 visitors.