Namibia makes great strides in addressing TB

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tuberculosis
Tuberculosis

Namibia has made great strides in addressing Tuberculosis as a public health concern, reaching a treatment success rate of 88 percent in 2021, an official said Friday.

Namibia’s Minister of Health and Social Service, Kalumbi Shangula highlighted this at an event at Groot Aub, a settlement located south of the capital city Windhoek. The event was held to commemorate World TB Day celebrated on March 24 annually.

“We are also seeing a decline in the HIV positivity rate amongst TB patients, from almost 60 percent in 2005 to 30 percent in 2021. This signifies success in the provision of TB-HIV services and prevention interventions,” he added.

Shangula said these interventions include intensified screening, the introduction of WHO-recommended rapid molecular testing for TB as well as point of care TB testing amongst individuals with HIV, all in addition to the scaling up of shorter-term Tuberculosis Preventative Therapy.

Despite the successes, Shangula said there is more to be done in the fight to end TB in Namibia.

“We are still ranked amongst the top 10 countries globally with the highest TB incidence rate, therefore the World Health Organization estimates that we could be missing about 44 percent of our TB cases nationally,” he added. Enditem

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