BOTSWANA REDUCES TB MORTALITY RATE

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BOTSWANA REDUCES TB MORTALITY RATE

25/03/15

The Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, says Botswana is among the 147 United Nations member states that are committed to re-enforcing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as halt Tuberculosis (TB) and other diseases by 2015. Speaking at the World TB Day commemorations in Francistown on Tuesday (March 24), Mr Masisi said one of the MDGs was to combat HIV, TB and Malaria and reverse incidences.

The Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, says Botswana is among the 147 United Nations member states that are committed to re-enforcing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as halt Tuberculosis (TB) and other diseases by 2015. Speaking at the World TB Day commemorations in Francistown on Tuesday (March 24), Mr Masisi said one of the MDGs was to combat HIV, TB and Malaria and reverse incidences. Mr Masisi said Botswana had made a commendable progress because although TB remained one of the infectious killer diseases, with the global deaths of 1.5 million annually, the country had managed to reduce TB mortality rate. He said the research had indicated that one third of the TB patients were HIV positive and noted that the government of Botswana’s commitment to providing ARVs led to the control of not only HIV/AIDS but TB as well. Mr Masisi said, “quality health service is key to a more compassionate, just and caring, which is not only in line with the MDGs but the National Vision 2016 as well.” The Vice President said government had made TB treatment accessible to all and it was estimated that 10 000 new cases of TB were recorded annually. He said though the country has made strides in the fight against the disease there are still challenges such as the emerging Multi Drug Resistance (MDR TB), which needs complicated treatment as one of them.

PROGRESS

Mr Masisi said, “it is estimated that 100 cases of MDR TB are recorded in Botswana annually and it is everybody’s responsibility to keep TB at bay.” He appealed to the corporate world to partake in the fight against TB because by doing so they would have a healthy workforce which in return would maximise business production. Earlier, the Minister of Health, Ms Dorcas Makgato said the objective of the commemorations was to join the rest of the globe in sensitising the communities about TB. Ms Makgato said though TB was preventable, it still existed in Botswana and days such as World TB day accorded stakeholders an opportunity to to introspect and establish the gaps on the fight against the disease. “A day such as this helps us to look back and reflect on how far we have come and what more still needs to be done in the fight against TB,” she said. Francistown mayor, Ms Sylvia Muzila said an estimated 600 new cases of TB were registered every year. For his part, Francistown South MP, Mr Wynter Mmolotsi noted that shortage of drugs in health facilities in Francistown and long queues at Area W clinic were some of the factors that reverse efforts to quality health provision. (BOPA)

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