Malawi through the National Tuberclosis Control Program has failed to celebrate the activities to mark National Tuberclosis Day as the rest of the world marked the World TB Day on Tuesday due to coronavirus threats.
The celebrations were scheduled to take place in Mangochi District under the theme: “ItsTime for a World without TB; Know your TB status,’ but were cancelled in order abide to President Peter Mutharika’s directive of reducing gathering to not more than 100 people.
However, in a statement released in Lilongwe, Secretary for Health and Population, Dr Dan Namarika said TB remains a global public health threat killing many people than any other infectious disease as the nation records 16,000 cases with 1600 deaths every year.
” This year’s theme calls for many stakeholders to work together towards eliminating TB as a problem is very high and it requires combined efforts for the leaders to take part in ensuring that we reach, treat and all TB patients especially those vulnerable people with limited access to basic health care services,” he said.
According to a nationwide TB prevalence survey conducted in 2014, out of 100,000 people, 334 develop active tb each year with more men affected than women.
He said government and it’s partners are committed to meet the expectations of its people and that of the international community by implementing WHO End TB strategy which calls for significant reduction in tuberculosis deaths and new infections.
Malawi is fully committed to the international instruments and has put emphasis on increasing detection of those with TB and putting them on effective treatment, increasing the capacity to diagnose TB among children as well as implementing the diaeaae’s prevention, he observed.
Namarika further said the country is investing heavily in the field of human resource for health, diagnostics, infrastructure, medicines and supplies as well as developing and strengthening TB prevention interventions.
He has since urged stakeholders to reach out to communities to engage them in the fight against Tb, to raise awareness and the signs and symptoms, to innovate and reduce barriers communities face to access TB and other health services.