Govt meets stakeholders to review National TB Strategic Plan
Harare (New Ziana) – The Ministry of Healthy and Child Care is meting stakeholders to develop an addendum to the National Tuberculosis (TB) Strategic Plan (2021 to 2025).
The meeting started on Wednesday and ends on Friday.
An addendum is an item of additional material added at the end of a book or document, typically in order to correct, clarify or supplement something.
The Zimbabwe National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB guides the country’s TB response.
Speaking at the meeting, deputy director for the TB Unit in the Ministry of Health Dr Fungai Kavenga said together with stakeholders, they were working towards the global vision of Zero TB deaths, Zero TB disease and Zero TB suffering.
“Zimbabwe was removed from the top 8 countries in Africa on the world’s top 30 list of countries with Triple burden TB and TB/HIV,” he said.
Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease.
According to the World Health Organisation statistics, Zimbabwe made impressive gains in reducing the number of people with TB between 2015 and 2019.
The incidence rate declined from 242 per 100 000 in 2015 to a rate of 199 per 100 000 for 2019, signalling positive strides towards ending TB within the targeted period.
Zimbabwe’s coverage of HIV testing among TB patients and coverage with Antiretroviral therapy for HIV positive TB patients were both over 90 percent, a positive since HIV was the major driver of TB in Zimbabwe.
While TB treatment and care is free in Zimbabwe, more than 80 percent of those in need of TB services face huge costs in accessing them including transport and food among others.