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Photo: Twitter / @LucicaDitiu
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday challenged the Mozambican health sector and its partners to commit themselves to eradicating tuberculosis by 2030.
Speaking in Maputo, at the launch of a campaign entitled “National Dialogue on Tuberculosis”, Nyusi described the disease as a public health problem in Mozambique, which all social forces should fight against.
“It’s time that we finished with tuberculosis”, he declared. “As a government we are committed to this cause. This struggle requires commitment at all levels. This should be a persistent and prolonged fight, adjusted to reality, so that by 2030 we do away with this evil”.
In Mozambique, over 160,000 new cases of tuberculosis are registered a year. This includes those cases of the disease that are linked to HIV/AIDS – a connection that makes eradicating tuberculosis more complicated, but not impossible.
Nyusi noted that internationally it was decided that each country has to carry out concrete actions, adjusted to local realities, in order to eliminate tuberculosis by 2030.
Under this perspective, a study on TB prevalence in Mozambique has begun, which should provide information for more targeted interventions.
“The results from the national prevalence survey”, said Nyusi, “will help adjust the response in accordance with the weight of the disease at each point in the country. We are encouraging the health sector to rapidly incorporate and appropriate the new technologies for diagnosing the disease”.
Although this is a “shared mission”, the President added, the greatest challenges involved in the drive to end TB by 2030, fall on the shoulders of health professionals “who, when they promote reflection on the disease, will allow more Mozambicans to have information and to take ownership of actions to prevent and fight against this evil”.
“We are aware that the target is very ambitious, and the time scale is tight”, said Nyusi, “but we are convinced that it is not impossible. That is why we are repeating our appeal to health professionals to accept this struggle”.
The eradication target date is part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) strategy to end the global TB epidemic, and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, at a high level meeting in New York last September.
Heads of state and government at that meeting agreed to mobilise 13 billion US dollars a year by 2022 to implement TB prevention and care, and two billion dollars a year for research. They also pledged to take firm action against drug-resistant forms of the disease, and to prioritise human rights such as the stigma that prevails around TB in many parts of the world.
Mozambique is on the WHO list of countries with a high rate of tuberculosis, including the drug resistant varieties.
Nyusi hoped that the present dialogue on TB will raise awareness in Mozambican society about the disease, and make operational strategies to promote health in the communities, so that all Mozambicans have access to the care needed to eliminate the disease.
#WorldTBDay2019 #ItsTimetoEndTB – President Nyusi great speech – compassion for victims of cyclone, commitment to End TB “I am a long time TB Champion and I will continue but as a do-er, I want to do and deliver on commitments” @StopTB @GlobalFund @WHO pic.twitter.com/25GQnqMkvM
— Lucica Ditiu (@LucicaDitiu) March 18, 2019
One week to #WorldTBDay2019 #ItsTimeToEndTB – for all to know – #MOZAMBIQUE President Nyusi does not forget people with TB as he opens the National TB Dialogue tomorrow in Maputo @StopTB will be there! @sreenivas_nair @USAIDGH @SahuSuvanand pic.twitter.com/JaX9ABW6hi
— Lucica Ditiu (@LucicaDitiu) March 17, 2019
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