Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has said Malawi is doing well in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) as the number of cases has declined significantly in recent years.
She was speaking Thursday when she officially opened World TB Day commemorations in Lilongwe.
“I am glad to report that, for the past six years, the number of reported TB cases has been declining at a rate of two to three percent per annum and the Treatment Success Rate (TSR) for all forms of TB has increased from 82 percent in 2015 to 89 percent in 2020,” she said.
She called on those with signs of TB to go to the hospital for screening in good time.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Janet Kayita called on the Malawi Government to consider increasing investment in the TB fight.
“The World Health Organisation is committed to working with Malawi Government to meet the expectations of the people and those of the international community including the achievement of the United Nations High Level Meeting targets by this year (2022)” Kayita said
She said WHO’s End TB Strategy was emphasising increasing detection of those with TB and putting them on effective treatment.
The strategy also aims at increasing the capacity to diagnose TB among children as well as implementing TB prevention interventions.
Malawi reported more than 15,000 TB cases in 2020 and over 1,200 people died from the disease.
A nationwide TB prevalence survey conducted in 2014 revealed that out of 100,000 people, 334 develop active TB each year and that more men than women are affected and the burden is more in urban than in rural areas.