Remarkable progress in the fight against tuberculosis in Africa

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Kinshasa, April 15th, 2022(CPA)-Africa has made progress in the fight against tuberculosis in recent years, says a press release from the World Health Organization (WHO), received by the CPA on Friday.

This progress, including efforts to end this preventable and curable disease, according to the source, is being held back by several obstacles. At the current pace, global goals to eliminate the disease by 2030 seem increasingly out of reach, WHO says.

Another factor is that TB screening is not done properly. Many countries in Africa still rely on smear microscopy, which is less sensitive than the rapid diagnostic test recommended by WHO. There is also the very slow introduction of new drugs due to various reasons, as the African region struggles tirelessly to scale up preventive treatment for TB.

Weak health systems, poverty and inadequate nutritional support in many countries also contribute to the high burden of TB in the region. Tuberculosis infection is influenced by determinants of social and economic development, such as malnutrition, diabetes, HIV infection, alcohol and tobacco use disorders, which must be addressed by a multisectoral action and accountability, to ensure timely implementation of this action.

Despite the devastation it causes, TB is not yet a top health priority in many countries. In Africa, governments provide only 22% of the resources needed to fund adequate TB services, while 44% of the needs remain unfunded. There is an urgent need to intensify efforts to mobilize additional funds at the national level and from international donors.