Home » General » Zim Gets U.S $4,9 Million to Fight TB

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) has availed $4,9 million to fund the country’s strategy for treating and controlling tuberculosis.

Speaking at an event to commemorate World TB day in Mhangura recently, the Union’s country director, Dr Christopher Zishiri said his organisation had spent a total of $17,64 million in the past five years to support TB programmes in Zimbabwe which was among the hardest hit by the disease in Africa.

“This year alone an additional $4,9 million has been injected into TB support through the Challenge TB project where the organisation is a lead,” he said.

“We realise that TB is a major public health issue in the country and working with the Government and offering support to the communities we can all contribute to end TB and ensure a healthy nation which is free from TB in Zimbabwe. We therefore commit ourselves to reach, treat and cure everyone.”

The funding further bolsters a new agreement that was reached by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to provide an additional $126 million to the existing $311 million Global Fund which aims to support the country’s response to HIV and Aids.

Health experts say increased funding for TB, HIV and Aids will allow the country to bolster its efforts to combat the disease, with a new target of 894,000 people receiving HIV treatment.

They also say it will also contribute to improved quality of care, reduce new infections and keep people alive, further promoting sustainable human development in the country.

The Union aims to bring innovation, expertise, solutions and support to address health challenges in low – and middle – income populations in various parts of the world.

Its scientific departments focus on tuberculosis, HIV, lung health and non-communicable diseases, tobacco control and research.

The union is most widely-known for the research that led to the global strategy for treating and controlling tuberculosis.

Adopted by the World Health Organisation in 1995, The Union model is part of the internationally recommended Stop TB Strategy that has been used to treat 37 million people around the world.

In 2014, TB cases fell from 35 000 to 32 500 for 100 000, according to a national TB survey report for Zimbabwe.

The reduction was attributed to the adoption of various TB treatment strategies and campaigns.

Tuberculosis is one of the world’s deadliest, yet preventable, communicable diseases and remains a significant problem in the African region, according to the World Health Organisation.

Every year, there is an estimated 9 million new TB cases worldwide but consistently 3 million cases are either not diagnosed, not treated, or are diagnosed and not registered by national TB control programmes.

Source : The Herald