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Zimbabwe achieves betterTB treatment coverage than SA

Zimbabwe is among the countries with high tuberculosis (TB) burdens that achieved treatment coverage levels of more than 80%, in 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals in its latest Global TB Report.

IoL reports that in the same study South Africa is listed among countries where people suffer most. The other countries include China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.

However, the report also points out that Brazil, China, the Russian Federation and Zimbabwe – all of which have high TB burdens – achieved treatment coverage levels of more than 80%, in 2018. The same year around 10m people developed TB and three million sufferers were "not getting the care they need".

A staggering 1.5m people died from tuberculosis (TB) last year, the UN health agency are quoted in the report as saying, in an appeal for far greater funding and political support to eradicate the curable and preventable disease. "Nonetheless, although the 2018 TB toll was marginally better than in 2017, the burden remains stubbornly high among poor and marginalised populations, particularly those with HIV," the reports says.

"One of the reasons for this is the cost of TB care, with data showing that up to four-fifths of TB patients in so-called 'high-burden' countries spend more than 20 per cent of their household income on treatment."

The report says the WHO also found that drug resistance remains another obstacle in tackling the disease.

Following last month's commitment by Heads of State at the UN in New York to make healthcare available to all and address communicable diseases like TB, HIV and malaria, WHO highlighted the value of "comprehensive" national campaigns that could diagnose and treat several ailments at a time.

The UN agency cited "better integrated" HIV and TB programmes that have led to two-thirds of people diagnosed with TB now knowing their HIV status, for which they are now taking treatment. The report says the WHO also welcomed the fact that 7m people were diagnosed and treated for TB last year – up from 6.4m in 2017.

[link url="https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/zimbabwe-achieves-success-in-treatment-of-tb-35267805"]IoL report[/link]

[link url="https://www.who.int/tb/global-report-2019"]WHO report[/link]

See also

[link url="https://www.medicalbrief.co.za/archives/world-health-organisation-global-tuberculosis-report-2019/"]World Health Organisation Global Tuberculosis Report 2019[/link]

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