Ray Bande Senior Reporter
MANICALAND is aiming at significantly reducing the number of people dying of tuberculosis from the current eight percent to below five percent by end of 2020, provincial TB and leprosy coordinator Mr Fungai Zamba has said.
The initiative is part of the input into the broader National TB programme Strategic Plan (2017 to 2020).
In working towards the reduction of the number of people dying of tuberculosis, the province has been facing challenges that include late detection and transfer of patients on treatment.
Mr Zamba said the province is well on course to achieving a TB death rate of below five percent by 2020.
He said they are also aiming at increasing the success rate on all forms of tuberculosis from 81 percent to 90 percent.
“We have a number of priority areas in this current TB programme. Early detection and treatment is one strategic objective that we are concentrating on with the view of increasing treatment coverage on all forms of TB.
“In doing so, we are aiming at increasing it from 72 percent to 85 percent. We are also looking at contribution from childhood TB increasing from seven percent to 12 percent. In the same breadth, we also want contribution from community key stakeholders such as caregivers, village workers or community based distributors from 13 percent to 20 percent.
“We are quite confident that we will be able to achieve the desired goal of significantly reducing the number of people dying of tuberculosis from the current eight percent to below five percent by end of 2020,” he said.
Mr Zamba said they are also aiming at increasing the success rate on all forms of TB from 81 percent to 90 percent by 2020.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care is working in partnership with key stakeholders that include International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) in achieving the set targets.
The Union Country Director Dr Christopher Zishiri said they had several forums around Manicaland aimed at helping Government achieve reduction in TB related deaths.
“We have several initiatives that are in place aimed at significantly reducing the number of people dying of tuberculosis and we are working closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care National TB Control Programme and other stakeholders in achieving the set targets. These include engaging traditional and faith leaders among other local leaders in community discussion forums to raise awareness about TB and to promote early health seeking behaviour. These leaders are opinion leaders hence empowering them will result in empowered communities who take full responsibility of their health. This month such forums were done in Makoni, Buhera, Chipinge and Nyanga districts.
“Community health workers and health care workers have received trainings in childhood TB to strengthen referrals, diagnosis, treatment and care for children with TB,” he said.
According to statistics availed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, in Buhera district in Manicaland, 35 people died from TB out of the 278 cases detected as at January to June last year.
For the same period, seven people died in Chimanimani district out of the 164 cases detected while 48 died in Chipinge out of the 302 cases detected.
In Makoni, 159 cases were detected and 24 people died while in Mutare district, 10 people died out of the 144 cases detected.
20 died in Makoni district out of the 169 detected cases while Mutare City recorded a total of 20 deaths out of the 274 cases detected.
164 people died of TB out of the 1 400 cases detected in Manicaland.