Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)By Ben Bago, Dodoma
THE number of chronic tuberculosis patients is increasing at an alarming rate in the country, a situation that calls for concerted efforts to reverse the trend.
This was said here over the weekend by Dr Saitore Laizer, who represented the government Chief Medical Officer during the launch of the Tanzania Tuberculosis Stakeholders’ Union, which includes Members of Parliament, religious leaders, and other institutions.
Dr. Laizer said according to tests conducted in 2018 involving 133,000 people, at least 227 were diagnosed with tuberculosis.
He said currently Tanzania has a total of 1,600 chronic TB patients, out whom at least 400 were diagnosed last year.
Speaking during the union launch, Speaker of the Parliament Job Ndugai urged people to follow health experts’ advice so as to protect them from contracting the disease. He also said that more efforts are required to eradicate Tuberculosis in the country.
“If we observe advices by health professionals, it will be more helpful, let us unite to rescue the lives of our people,” Ndugai insisted.
Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr. Godwin Mollel said that the ministry received 97bn/- from the government which is directed towards fighting TB infection. He said the funds will also be used to strengthening rural health services and get accurate statistics on the cases.
Dr Mollel said the ministry targets to reach more people for testing and treatment through the use of mobile clinics services. The move, he said, is part of the government’s efforts to end the challenge by providing direct education and services to the grassroots for the objective of eradicating TB by 2030.
For her part, Chairperson of the National Tuberculosis Network, Fatuma Tawfiq said that, according to statistics, Tanzania ranks fourth in Africa with the highest number of TB patients and called for the continuation of government-stakeholder partnerships to eradicate the disease.