Malawi Government committed to eradicating TB through innovativeness

Government says despite making strides in early detection of Tuberculosis (TB) using the already existing techniques, the country still needs to adopt new technologies that would enhance both rapid screening and treatment of the epidemic.

Minister of Health, Dr. Peter Kumpalume said this on Friday during the commemoration of the World TB day which took place at Goliati Primary School ground in Thyolo under the theme “Unite to end TB”.

He said adopting new innovative techniques in identification and treatment of TB patients could be the best way to accelerate progress towards achievement of the national and global aspirations of ending TB.

“TB is a global problem therefore as a country, we need to do something and not to wait for the global community to innovate things on our behalf as most of the innovations come from the west.

“Apart from adopting these new technologies we can also initiate some better techniques since we have experts in the country from colleges that offer biological sciences. We can initiate some techniques that will be helping us in the rapid identification and treatment of TB cases,” Kumpalume said.

The Minister added that time taken for one to complete TB treatment was among other challenges in terms of adherence to treatment hence the need to develop new treatment that could take a shorter time.

He called upon all stakeholders in the health sector and the communities to work hand-in-hand in the fight against TB as this could only be achieved through coordinated efforts.

Country Representative for the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Eugene Nyarko said despite making progress in treating TB patients, the country still needed to intensify efforts of reaching out to all patients through the rolling out of modern diagnostic tools.

“Currently, we need to put more effort in expanding the diagnostic services. We need to find innovative approaches on how we can reach out to all the patients including the vulnerable groups such as women, children, refugees among others as these people don’t have access to basic health services,” she said.

Nyarko said gaps in TB data collection and weak laboratory information system were some of the challenges that Malawi was still facing in as far as detecting new cases was concerned.

At the same function, the Minister also presented awards (trophy and certificate) to the best three performing districts in as far as TB management is concerned namely Lilongwe, Kasungu and Zomba.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA