New method contributes to TB reduction in Malawi

National TB and Leprosy Elimination Program (NTLEP) says the introduction of active case finding method has significantly contributed to the decline of tuberculosis (TB) cases in Malawi.

NTLEP Deputy Program Manager, Isaias Dambe, was speaking during a bi-annual review meeting for editors and journalists on Friday in Salima.

NTLEP Deputy Program Manager Isaiah Dambe

“Using the method, more cases are reportedly detected right in communities compared to the past where cases were detected in hospitals only,” Dambe said.

He said previously, people were seeking TB services to the hospitals while very sick but the new method is actually looking for people who are strong but have symptoms and signs of the disease like cough, night sweating, weight loss and persistent fever.

According to him, the cases have tremendously declined to 14, 000 in 2021 from 30, 000 between 2008 to 2010.

In communities, Dambe said, the program is using volunteers who are well trained to visit house to house to find out suspected cases.

He assured that Malawi is towards achieving its goal of ensuring a TB free nation by 2030.

Dambe said currently, World Health Organization (WHO) has given Malawi an elimination status from a  control level.

WHO requires the countries to reach around 15,000 cases in order to be given the elimination status in which Malawi has surpassed the stage, he said.

Dambe said the country is looking forward to reduce the cases further to undetectable levels.

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