Thandeka Moyo, Health Reporter
Zimbabwe continues to record major successes in the fight gainst tuberculosis with the country recording the highest decline in TB cases in Africa between 2010 and 2017.
According to statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the country’s decline is way ahead of the average in all African countries and this has been attributed to a number of intervention programmes being rolled out by Government.
“Over the period 2010-2017 TB incidence in Zimbabwe declined by 10 percent per year compared to the worldwide decline of two percent per year.
“This rate of decline is very impressive and is higher than that of the WHO African Region which was four percent per year and Southern African countries which ranged between four to eight percent in the period 2013-2017,” read a statement from WHO.
It said the national TB screening programmes being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and its partners are contributing to the rapid decline in the TB cases.
In 2017, TB incidence in Zimbabwe was reported to be 221 new cases per 100 000 down from a peak of 617 per 100 000 and case notification rates have also declined at nearly the same rates over the same period.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo recorded 15 Tuberculosis deaths in August this year down from 16 in July amid reports that new cases are on the decrease countrywide.
According to the recent council report, six of the TB patients admitted at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital which caters for the southern region were lost to follow up.
“We recorded 15 deaths during the month of August compared to July where they were 16. We also initiated a total of 144 patients on TB treatment during the same period which brings the total number of people on our register to 899,” read the report.
The local authority is also working on introducing Catalysing Paediatric TB Innovation (CAP TB) projects which will ensure that children have access to advanced TB diagnosis and treatment.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care has been rolling out the Catalysing Paediatric TB Innovation (CAP TB) project to improve treatment of paediatric TB through the roll-out and scale-up of improved diagnostics and treatments. One of the innovations is the use of stool for Xpert testing in children,” read the report.
The recommended project CAP TB was piloted in Ethiopia and Indonesia with good results. – @thamamoe