SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-The Minister of Health and Population Atupere Muluzi says mobile clinics will be deployed intensively across the country for Tuberculosis (T.B) screening in a bid to contain further spreading of the disease.
This comes as TB remains a big challenge as it continues to be the number one killer among people living with HIV
But with recent Malawi health ministry records show that for the past ten years, the number of TB cases has fallen from a high of 28,000 in 2008, to around 17,000 last year.
The TB/HIV confection has also fallen from around a high of 77% in 2008 to the last figure of 49%.
In diagnosing patients with TB we are also able to increase the number of people we identify as testing HIV Positive.
Some 97% of all HIV positive TB patients have now started ART meaning that they are able to lead an almost normal life.
Therefore to maintain the diseases prevalence decline, there is a need for full stakeholder participation including health care workers, opinion, community leaders, school authorities and the media.
This will therefore intensified through mobile clinics the ministry intends to introduce across the country to upscale screening for early treatment.
The Health Minister Muluzi told the gathering during World TB commemoration day in Salima on Saturday that focus has been on strengthening ability to detect, care and treat patients with TB and support their families.
With robust screening programme that is supported within communities by trained volunteers, the Minister added that there has been drastic reduction of the distance patients have to travel to access testing, care and treatment.
“With the support of the recent addition of 4 specialist lorries (Chipatala Choyendayenda) provided with support from the Global Fund, we can take our services almost to their doorstep. These lorries are equipped with sophisticated diagnostic equipment such that patients are able to be given their results on the same day providing a significant enhancement on our capability.
“Indeed, I believe this is a first for the region – certainly that is what I have been telling my peers. I am keen to offer up the lessons that we have learnt from the lorries roll out (pardon the pun) to others in the region to ensure that more can be gained from the investment of our development partners,” said Muluzi.
With the financial support from World Health Organisation (WHO), USAID, World Bank, Global Fund along with their implementing partners; PARADISO patient trust, Action Aid, this year’s TB Day encourages society leaders to be on forefront in fighting against TB.
During the event health workers, community groups and public health facilities were awarded for outstanding services towards the fight against TB across the country.