LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has recorded a reduction in tuberculosis cases from 716 to 410 per 100,000 cases between 2010 and 2015.
Speaking at a TB Care I closeâ€“outâ€™ meeting in Lusaka on Thursday, Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child permanent secretary Professor Elwyn Chomba said the reduction in TB cases is due to improved investment in diagnosis, case finding and treatment.
She said efficient infection control and community sensitisation has also contributed to curbing the spread of TB.
â€œZambia has continued to register a high proportion of TB treatment success which has been above the global target.Â Further investments have been registered in increasing the number of TB patients that are tested for HIV and offered cotrimoxazole prevention therapy and antiretroviral therapy (ART),â€™â€™ Prof Chomba said.
Yesterdayâ€™s meeting was convened to disseminate information on the TB control programme which began in 2010, funded by USAID and the United States Presidentâ€™s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to the tune of US$17 million.
Prof Chomba said the US$17 million investment in TB control in six provinces has enhanced TB service delivery from national to community level.
Prof Chomba said that the introduction of key diagnostic instruments in TB control will also help Zambia fight the disease.
She said that Government has been able to enhance skills of health workers and community care-givers with over 3,000 of them trained in TB control during the implementation of the project.
â€œZambia has just completed the first ever national tuberculosis prevalence survey that will help the country to know the true burden of TB,â€™â€™ Professor Chomba said.
She said the USAID investment into the project has further enhanced TB infection control activities in both health facilities and surrounding communities.
And USAID Zambia senior health Advisor, George Sinyangwe said their partnered with Government enabled health care-givers reach seven million Zambians, providing them with information and services for TB control
He said that the project which has come to an end has also seen the introduction of new and more accurate TB diagnostic technologies.
LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka