TB prevalence rate on increase, official says

19Jul 2019
Crispin Gerald
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TB prevalence rate on increase, official says

MORE than 172 people in Kigamboni district were diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) in the last quarter ended in June this year.

Kigamboni District TB and Leprosy Coordinator, Swaleh Kyonda told The Guardian on Tuesday that the number of patients affected by TB has been increasing in every quarter due to low awareness of the disease amongst the people.

He was speaking on the sidelines of TB and HIV/Aids campaign for Temeke residents which was organized by a non-governmental organization—MUKIKUTE. The organization conducts TB diagnosis and issues report in every quarter of the year.

He added that out of the 172 diagnosed patients, 28 percent of them were also found to have HIV/Aids, with the majority of them being at the age of between 25 and 45 years.

Kyonda added: “We are working closely with authorities in Kigamboni to ensure the residents are well informed about TB and HIV/Aids”, he said.

Vice Chairman of the organization, Seif Mchila said that during the campaign on Tuesday, a total of 97 people were diagnosed whereby five among them were found with TB. He said the patients have been admitted at the Vijibweni TB hospital.

He said that the organization funded by LHL International, is working on identifying TB patients across the country and admit them to hospitals for treatment.

said similar campaigns are also conducted in sober houses, ferry areas and in households.

“We also visit drug users, sex workers, fishers, and long trip transporters who are at the risk of getting TB infections”, he said.

He added that they have established eight TB clubs in Temeke and Kigamboni districts that work on making follow-ups for patients with TB to ensure they complete their administered dose.

Hellen Shija, Chairperson of Kigamboni TB club said they have realized that many people are unaware of the disease, the thing that contributes to its spreading.

At least 70 people die every day from Tuberculosis (TB) in Tanzania, according to Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu. The number is an average of three people per hour.

Speaking during an event to mark this year’s World TB Day (WTBD), Mwalimu further pointed out that Tanzania was among the 30 countries in the World reportedly to have the highest TB prevalence.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicate that at least 154, 000 Tanzanians get infected with the disease every year,” said Mwalimu.

Mwalimu revealed that the government in 2018 had managed to reach and treat at least 75,845 TB patients compared to 62,180 reached in the previous year, surpassing the target imposed by the African Union Commission that requires Member States to reach and treat 74,200 TB patients per year.

Mwalimu said: “one TB patient who is not under medication can infect at least 10 to 20 people per year. Therefore, more efforts are required to reach and treat more TB patients in order to prevent further transmission of the disease in the country”.

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