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TB fight, leprosy elimination needs more investment

Deputy Minister of health Halima Daudi has expressed the need for more investment in efforts to fight against tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy in Malawi.

Daudi was speaking in Mchinji during the commemorations of World TB and Leprosy Elimination Day under the theme:Yes We Can End TB” and Act Now: End Leprosy”

“Despite numerous investments, more needs to be done if we are to attain our vision of being a Malawi without TB and leprosy in 2030,” she said.

As a country, Daudi said, we have initiated a number of interventions to ensure that people access TB and leprosy services in their communities.

The services include house to house TB screening, TB and leprosy contact tracing, mobile diagnostic units as well as community sputum collection points among others.

She further said Malawi continues to register reduction in a number of people suffering from tuberculosis.

According to her, the incidences of TB for the country has declined from 338 per 100,000 population in 2010 to 132 in 2021 representing 61 per cent reduction over 11 years.

Daudi therefore encouraged people to be responsible in ensuring that they are getting tested for Tb if they see signs for the disease.

World Health Organization (WHO) National Professional Officer responsible for HIV and TB, Ishmael Nyasulu commended Malawi for significant progress in the fight against the two diseases.

“We also take cognizance of significant investments the government of Malawi has made in diagnostics, health workers skills development and the bold decision to merge TB and leprosy programmes,” he said.

Nyasulu, however, called for action to policy makers to allocate sufficient resources to improve diagnostic, prevention, treatment, support and empower health workers, expand high quality TB services for children, integrate TB into routine health intervention and ensure TB/leprosy services are maintained.

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