Zambian Government steps up TB fight

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Government has called in traditional leadership to mobilise their constituents in taking a critical role of sensitizing the communities on the effects of tuberculosis.

Officiating at the World TB Day commemoration held at Mangango Mission hospital grounds under the theme, “Reach the 3 million, Find, Cure TB”, Kaoma District Administrative Officer, Sachibuye Mwanangombe says government was committed to ensuring that TB is controlled in the country.

ZANIS reports that Mr Mwanangombe said government will ensure that about three million people infected with TB mainly from the poorest and vulnerable families who cannot t access health services should receive quality TB services countrywide.

He said government has identified TB control services as one of the key public health interventions in a bid to alleviate people’s sufferings and improve the health of people in communities.

Mr Mwanangombe said the TB epidemic in many areas in Kaoma district is fuelled by high poverty levels, poor living infrastructure and the HIV burden.

He has however called on non- governmental and Faith Based organizations, the education sector and the media to assist government in controlling the scourge of TB as the disease is curable.

Mr Mwanangombe said government has continued with its political will to allocate resources in order to expand TB prevention and control services to all primary health units in the Western province.

He added that government has invested a lot of resources in increasing capacity building to health facility staff and community volunteers in actively tracing new TB patients as well as those defaulting on the treatment.

Mr Mwanangombe complained that tuberculosis has remained one of the commonest causes of death in the country despite government efforts of ensuring that TB treatment is available in all the health facilities especially in the province.

He disclosed that about 448 new TB cases are recorded every year in Kaoma district with a total of 12 patients confirmed to be suffering from Tuberculosis dying before completing treatment.

Mr Mwanangombe said that government has procured and placed Gene- Xpert machines in all provincial headquarters in an effort to respond to the dangers of multi-drug resistant TB cases in the country.

And speaking earlier, Kaoma district Medical Officer Jacob Sakala said that during the TB activism week marking the World TB celebration, 2,128 people in seven areas namely Chitwa, Lunyati, Mulamba, Kaoma Urban area, Mangango Mayukwayukwa and chief Mutondo’s received TB sensitization messages adding that 211 suspected TB cases were also discovered.

Dr. Sakala also said that about 72 inmates from Kaoma and Nyango state prisons were reached and 19 suspected TB cases were identified.

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