Despite progress, Africa still has highest TB prevalence globally – WHO

Medical Doctors (health workers) attending to patients used to illustrate the story health
Doctors attending to patients used to illustrate the story

Africa still has the world’s highest level of Tuberculosis with only half of the existing cases being found by the health system, says Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director, World Health Organisation .

Mr Moeti in a press statement released on Friday ahead of the World Tuberculosis Day said though the continent has “recorded good progress in controlling TB”, most of the infected patients have HIV and governments are contributing only a quarter of the resources needed to provide adequate TB services, while 40 per cent of needs remain unfunded.

The World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated March 24. It is a day when global community rallies together to focus on how best to tackle TB as the disease has remained one of the highest killer diseases in the world

Mr Moeti said there are increasing forms of drug resistance TB as most cases are resisting treatment with common medicine.

He said a TB-free world will only be achieved through leaders who champion efforts to end TB at local level.

“I strongly urge governments to scale up domestic funding for TB control and take responsibility for essential medicines and laboratory supplies. Furthermore, governments should push for universal coverage with proven high quality services.

“Since TB is found in communities where human rights and dignity are often overlooked, Governments should lead actions beyond the health sector to address environmental, economic and other factors which increase the risk of TB. Governments, parliamentarians and policy-makers should drive ambitious plans that will accelerate TB control at national level,” he said.

The wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, who also doubles as Global TB Champion and Ambassador called on Nigerians to get tested for TB.

In a press statement released from the state house, Mrs Buhari urged Nigerians who have been coughing persistently for more than two weeks to get tested.

“TB is curable and treatable. TB test and treatment are free in Nigeria. I therefore ask all Nigerians and everyone living in Nigeria to “find TB and treat TB,” she said.


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