Mozambique is still on the list of countries classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having a high burden of tuberculosis, TB/HIV co-infection and drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis, which is curable and preventable, is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization, killing 1.7 million people in 2018.
Health Minister Nazira Abdula made the announcement on Monday, 13 May 2019, in the capital, Maputo during the official opening of the Meeting of the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) of the Project on Tuberculosis and Strengthening Southern African Health Systems (SATBHSS),
She stated that with an estimated incidence of 551 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, the tuberculosis detection rate is around 57 percent.
“In our country, the tuberculosis epidemic is influenced by several factors such as the high prevalence of HIV / AIDS (13.2 percent), poverty, and mining migration,” she said, adding that HIV/AIDS infects 1.6 million Mozambicans, with 500 new infections every day.
She added, “Our interventions in the implementation of this project are already having an impact. In 2018, 93 402 tuberculosis patients were diagnosed, notified and initiated, compared to 86 515 cases in the same period last year, of which 12 522 were children (in 2017, 11 198 in the same period and 1 231 cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis, 943 of the same period of the previous year)”.
The increase in case reporting, according to the minister, is gradually reducing the gap between the overall estimates and the number of cases diagnosed in the country.
“Our interventions also allowed us to successfully treat about 90 percent of tuberculosis patients and to have antiretroviral treatment 96 percent of patients infected by double TB / HIV infection; strengthen the capacity of our human resources through conducting training in the areas of laboratory, clinical management of diseases, labour inspections, among other achievements” she added
The official argued that the fight against tuberculosis requires a commitment from all.
“We have to be patient but also persistent and adjust our strategies to local conditions and be always ready to review and correct approaches. If we do things, always in the same way, the most likely is to get the same results” the official said.
Tuberculosis was declared a public health emergency by the WHO about 25 years ago.
Since then, a number of countries, including Mozambique, have been struggling for effective control.
Delegations from Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, representatives of the World Bank, cooperation partners of the health sector, and others participate in the meeting which ends on Tuesday, 14 May 2019.