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35,566 cases of TB of all types were notified in
Addressing people gathered for the Midlands World TB day commemorations in Lower Gweru on Thursday Sibanda said TB was the second leading cause of death and the common cause of death among people living with HIV in Zimbabwe.
He said there was therefore a need for members of the community to assist government in the fight against the scourge through seeking treatment early and maintaining clean environments.
He said in 2012 alone, 8,6 million people became ill with TB around the world.
“Worldwide 1,3 million died of the disease during the same period. Out of those who died, 320,000 were HIV positive,” said Sibanda.
Turning to the Midlands province, Sibanda said the scourge had been found on 3,908 people last year.
He said from January to March this year, 902 cases of TB of all types had also been recorded. In 2015 from January to March alone, 902 cases of TB have been identified so far. As a province about 9,2 percent of our patients died of this disease in 2013,” said Sibanda.
“Ladies and gentlemen our TB statistics in the province also show that above 70 percent of our TB patients are also infected with HIV.”
He said the fight against TB was being derailed by patients who were failing to complete their courses.
Sibanda said because of TB patients who default, the country was now witnessing an upsurge in Drug Resistant TB (DRTB).
He said 35 cases of the 3,908 were DRTB and most such cases were notified in Kwekwe and Gweru.
“As for this year we have had 17 cases of DRTB so far. We also have 70 of the TB patients who are HIV positive”.
Sibanda said the government and its partners like the World Health Organisation made huge investments in addressing the TB and HIV challenges in the country.
“These activities include training health community workers on how to properly manage TB, HIV and drug resistant TB, availing medicines to treat these conditions, providing equipment and other supplies to address the diseases. “The government and its partners have also availed money for other activities to reduce the burden of TB on our people,” he said.
The commemorations were held under the theme, “Reach the missed cases, reach, treat and cure everyone.”
Sibanda said the theme was aimed at involving every member in the community to help health officers identify missed cases and treat them.Source: Chronicle