By Christine Lagat NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa should prioritize
new investments in diagnostic equipments, case management and
public awareness to reduce the burden of tuberculosis (TB),
policymakers said Tuesday.
They told a forum in
Nairobi that innovative financing options were an imperative in
order to revitalize the war against TB that has surpassed
HIV/AIDS to become a leading killer in Africa.
in Kenya’s Ministry of Health Nicholas Muraguri said at the
forum that shrinking budgetary allocation, incoherent policies
and competing priorities could reverse gains made in the war
against TB in Africa.
“Our continent has a
disproportionate burden of tuberculosis that has mainly been
fueled by HIV/AIDS and poverty. We must therefore increase
investments in prevention and management of the disease,”
The World Health
Organization (WHO) contends that Africa accounts for 25 percent
of the global TB burden while 16 out of 30 TB high-burden
countries are found in the continent.
that political goodwill coupled with smart investing and robust
public awareness is key to reinvigorate TB control programs in
Kenya is among five
African countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis but
state-led interventions have in the last decade averted half a
million deaths thanks to increased funding towards TB diagnoses
senior coordinator for TB at the Geneva based Global Fund, said
funding agencies have prioritized investments in homegrown
programs to reduce the burden of tuberculosis in Africa.
He revealed that
Sub-Saharan Africa would receive the bulk of the 1.8 billion
U.S. dollars the Global Fund has set aside to combat
tuberculosis globally in the next two years.