GOVT GOES FOR TB ELIMINATION-MASEBO
Lusaka… Tuesday, September 27, 2022
HEALTH Minister SYLVIA MASEBO says the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a disruptive effect on the implementation of tuberculosis-TB interventions.
Ms MASEBO says at the peak of the first wave of the corona virus pandemic, the country recorded an 18 per cent reduction in weekly TB notifications.
She said government through the ministry hastened to mount up a robust response program that extensively put in place mitigation measures.
” Central to our TB response to COVID-19 was the creation of the TB situation room. This situation room is our flagship intervention that has enhanced the use of data for decision-making and action.
Using this flagship intervention, we could effectively coordinate case-finding measures, provide strategic guidance, and sustain a stable supply chain for all essential commodities for TB,” Ms. Masebo said.
Ms. MASEBO further noted that government has prioritized the attainment of the universal health coverage agenda in the 8th national development plan.
” Under this framework, we have prioritized primary health care as a bedrock of our health interventions. In the spirit of integration, we will ensure that TB screening is integrated into Maternal and Child Health services, and diabetic clinics,” Ms. Masebo said.
She pointed out that government is investing in human resource for health as evidenced by the recruitment of 11,326 health care workers recently.
“This additional workforce has contributed to reducing the doctor and nurse-patient ratio. These health care workers will contribute to service delivery regarding childhood and adolescent TB,” she explained at an on-going African Region Consultative Meeting on the Elimination of Childhood and Adolescent Tuberculosis, taking place in the country’s capital Lusaka.