Malawi making significant strides against TB

The Ministry of Health says Malawi is on track in the fight against Tuberculosis (TB).

Director of the National TB control program Dr James Mpunga made the remarks at a TB networking meeting in Blantyre which will run from 25th to 26th November 2021.

According to Dr Mpunga, Malawi’s TB success rate is almost at 90 percent which is in line with World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation that countries should attain a treatment success rate for all TB cases at not less than 90 percent.

Mpunga also stated that Malawi has maintained drug resistance levels of TB at 6 %.

“This is an area where countries in the SADC region and elsewhere are struggling to fight,” he said.

“Drug Resistant TB is very difficult to treat and if not managed well it can also progress to another form of TB which is, Extensively Drug Resistant TB.”

Mpunga nonetheless said there are still some challenges in fighting TB including emerging issues such as Covid-19 where there has been a decline in cases being notified by the national TB control program by 12percent as compared to the previous years.

In his remarks, Marriott Nliwasa an epidemiologist at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHES) indicated that the meeting is key in sharing knowledge on how to find best ways of caring for TB patients in Malawi.

Nliwasa also emphasized on the importance of research and innovation in the fight against TB, he cited an example of a situation where a doctor is having problems communicating with a patient about the long term treatment of TB which can take up to six months so bringing a new innovation such as a mobile app can bridge the communication gap between the two.

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