28 Mar 2019 19:40pm
OSHAKATI, 28 MAR (NAMPA) Namibia is one of the top 10 countries with the highest per capita burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the world.
Namibians should thus use World TB Day to re-energise themselves in their bid to win the disease, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna said at the national commemoration of the day at Oshakati on Thursday.
We need to also remind ourselves of our indelible responsibility towards those among us who have been affected by this disease, as we collectively strive for a Namibia free of TB, Kavetuna said.
She said more than 10 million people had active TB worlwide in 2017, of which 490 000 were cases of multidrug resistant TB.
According to Kavetuna, drug resistance is often associated with problems in managing the disease and results in poorer treatment outcomes and high mortality.
She went on to say although it is curable, 37 000 people die from the airborne disease in the Southern African Development Community every year.
That is almost five deaths every hour, Kavetuna noted, adding that 700 people died from TB in Namibia in 2017.
Namibia last year had 8 100 patients with TB and 714 of them were children under 14 years.
The Oshana Regions Chief Medical Officer, Dr Korbinian Amutenya told the commemoration that the region last year notified 430 TB patients, 30 per cent of whom were co-infected (TB combined with another disease such as HIV). There were 16 cases of multi-drug resistant TB.
Speaking at the same event, chairperson of the Namibia Parliamentary TB Caucus, Elma Dienda said tuberculosis is among the top 10 causes of death and 1.6 million of people die from it every year.
The theme of this years commemoration is Its Time, which World Health Organisation representative to Namibia, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses in a statement read on his behalf said, means it is time to end the suffering and bring hope to patients and their families.