The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Elimination Programme has said a $44 million (K44 billion) Southern African Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project to improve Malawi’s capacity to manage the two diseases is on course.
In an interview yesterday, Southern African TB and Health Support System Project environmental and social safeguards specialist Yamikani Muronya said the project is having an impact on the country in fighting TB and leprosy.
He said: “The first objective of the project is to improve coverage and quality of TB control and occupation line disease services in Malawi.
“The other objective is to strengthen regional capacity to manage burden of TB and occupation line diseases.”
Muronya said there has been capacity building of health workers through the project to manage TB and conduct research on the disease.
He added that f ive TB diagnostic mobile vans and equipment such as X-ray machines have been procured.
Muronya further said the processes to construct nine isolation wards for multi drug resistant TB are at an advanced stage and is expected to start in November
“We will construct nine wards in Karonga, Mzimba, Kasungu, Lilongwe at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Balaka, Zomba Central Hospital, Blantyre at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and in Nsanje,” he said.
The project, which is funded by the World Bank, commenced in 2017 and is expected to come to an end in December next year.
M i n i s t r y o f He a l t h spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe asked for more time before commenting on the matter.
Malawi needs to reduce TB cases by 75 percent and mortality rate by 95 percent by 2030.
In 2015 when the 2030 targets were being set the country had about 18 000 cases. In 2019, the cases were at 16 000 while in 2020 were 15 000.
According to Ministry of Health data, treatment success rate has been at 88 percent and death rate around eight percent. People found positive again stand at one percent