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IHVN Staff Recognized as Global TB Champion

Dr Emeka Ezieke attending to a client at a health facility in Rivers State, Nigeria.

A staff of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Dr Emeka Ezieke, has been selected as one of the 23 Global Tuberculosis Champions by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The selection according to CDC, is in recognition of his “contribution to improving tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment in Nigeria.”

Dr Ezieke was one of the HIV community testers who offered HIV, TB and COVID-19 screening services during the lock down. He was also involved in providing tuberculosis treatment to clients after conducting Gene Xpert Test on their sputum samples.

Between March 2020 and January 2021, IHVN screened more than 112,000 people living with HIV for tuberculosis. Out of the 4,945 suspected cases, 603 of them were diagnosed with active tuberculosis and 576 of them, placed on treatment for tuberculosis.

Dr Ezieke, who was excited about his selection, said that it was a collective effort of the staff of the RIVERS SURGE project involved in community outreach activities.

“It is a motivation to do more. It is something to be happy about,” he said.

IHVN Rivers SURGE Project Director, Dr Olayemi Olupitan, said that the project collaborated with stakeholders, particularly the state WHO team to scale up a multi-testing strategy.

“The services offered during the lock down has offered some protection against TB among PLHIV, thus reducing morbidity and mortality,” she said.