Government says it will soon start screening all new prisoners for Tuberculosis (TB) as way of curbing the outbreak of the air borne disease in congested prisoners.
Health minister Peter Kumpalume said this on Friday in parliament when Finance minister presented a bill which seeks to allow the government borrow money to fight against TB.
“Apart from the new prisoners, we will also screen all old prisoners because the government is also concerned with the rise in number of TB cases in our prisons,” he said.
The government seeks to borrow the money from International Development Association Southern Africa to enhance its fight against TB.
Kumpalume said the government has also an extra US$43 million which is with Global Fund.
Finance minister Goodall Gondwe parried away fears that the government was over borrowing and might fail to pay back the loans.
He said all the loans are concessional not commercial rate therefore the interest rate is very low.
“Even if we had wanted to borrow at commercial rate, the World Bank and IMF would not allow us,” he said.
Gondwe said the money would also be used to screen workers at Mchenga Coal mine in Rumphi and Kayelekera in Karonga and communities around the companies for TB.