Malawi is on steady path towards achieving the 2030 World Health Organization (WHO) goal for countries to end tuberculosis (TB) as latest studies show that the country registered a significant increase in notification of tuberculosis (TB) cases in 2022.
This gave healthcare workers a chance to treat diagnosed cases early thereby reducing chances of spreading to others.
TB/HIV Programmes Officer at the National TB and Leprosy Elimination Programme (NTLEP), Henry Kanyerere, attributed the increase in TB notification to increased funding and concerted awareness by media and healthcare workers on the disease.
Kanyerere observed that there has been a good collaboration between his organization and the media in disseminating messages about TB and leprosy in the country.
“This increase is attributed to increased funding to procure more platform to support testing for additional diseases,” he said.
Kanyerere made the sentiments in Salima on Monday when he opened a two-day training workshop for journalists and faith leaders.
Kanyere also disclosed that TB notification among children increased by nine percent, which is a reflection of an overall increase in case finding.
He, however, emphasized the need for the country to improve on pediatric TB case finding.
One of the participants at the training, Pastor Simon Msiska of the Malawi Assemblies of God Church, expressed faith leaders’ commitment to spreading the TB and leprosy messages alongside the Holy Scripture in their respective worship temples.
Msiska acknowledged the difficult task they have to demystify myths and misinformation about leprosy owing to its biblical history where people regarded lepers as cursed by God.