Urgent action needed to reduce TB prevalence: Dienda

07 Dec 2017 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 07 DEC (NAMPA) – The Namibian Tuberculosis (TB) Caucus on Wednesday called for urgent action from all stakeholders towards the reduction of TB infections in Namibia.
Chairperson of the Namibian TB Caucus, Elma Dienda said through a media statement issued Wednesday that new worrying data commissioned by the Global TB Caucus outlines the extent of the human and economic cost which will result from inaction in addressing the TB epidemic.
“In Namibia, TB took 1 600 lives in 2016, and it is predicted that the death toll will be roughly 25 780 between 2015 and 2030, and the TB epidemic is predicted to cost Namibia USD $1.86 billion (about N.dollars 25 billion) between 2015 and 2030,” Dienda said.
She added that there is a need for urgent action to be taken by Government and all other stakeholders including society.
“I humbly issue a call to non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and political parties to stand together and help the Ministry of Health and Social Services and Namibia as a whole in addressing the TB epidemic,” she said.
Dienda, a Popular Democratic Party member of parliament, added that she brought the alarming figures into the public domain to make the public aware of the seriousness of the TB epidemic.
“These figures make it undeniably clear that there is an economic, as well as a national health and human imperative to act immediately to end TB,” Dienda stressed.
Namibian parliamentarians joined their counterparts from 17 other African countries in Durban, South Africa in July last year to launch the African TB Caucus.
The African TB Caucus falls under the Global TB Caucus, which is a global network of parliamentarians united by their shared commitment to end the TB epidemic. It aims to transform the response to TB through targeted interventions at national, regional, continental, and global levels.