Zambia on Wednesday joined the rest of the world in commemorating World TB Day with the government saying the country has made great strides in fighting the disease.
Minister of Health Jonas Chanda however said there was a need to accelerate the country’s response to TB in order to ensure the elimination of the disease.
He said the country notified 5,756 cases representing 67 percent of the expected figure last year, making 2020 the best performance in the last four years.
While acknowledging the strides, he said more needs to be done because there are still cases that go undiagnosed in the communities, a situation that increases the chances of infection to others.
In remarks delivered virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zambian minister said the country has done a lot despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19, adding that the disease has a negative impact on individuals, communities and the economy.
The Zambian minister, however, said the limited awareness of TB and stigma associated with the disease has hampered the government’s efforts to finding and treating patients in the country.
World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Nathan Bakyaita commended Zambia over its strides in the elimination of TB.
He said there was a need to increase funding to enhance the country’s response towards TB a well as investment in TB research.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “TB is still among us, let us end TB together”.