TB treatment services increased by 97pc in Afghanistan
“As a result of joint efforts and implementation of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) strategies, the detection rate of TB cases has improved and the level of TB diagnosis and treatment enhanced,” the minister told a ceremony marking World Tuberculosis Day (March 24) in Kabul.
Feroz said the number of TB treatment centers across the country and people’s access to TB treatment services had increased. “Now Afghanistan is not among the 22 countries with highest TB rates.”
While thanking Afghanistan’s health partners, Dr. Feroz said he was proud of the continued hard work of the National TB Programme staff and grateful to international and national partners for their support in improving Afghanistan’s prevention and treatment of TB.
Despite progress, Afghanistan still has a high prevalence of Tuberculosis, an infectious disease that kills roughly 14,000 Afghans every year, the minister said.
However, he said Afghans living in crowded urban areas and in rural areas with limited access to healthcare were particularly vulnerable to tuberculosis. “Therefore, joint partnership is needed to remain the fight against Tuberculosis,” Feroz said
The event was also attended by representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organization (WHO), chairperson of Stop TB Partnership and representatives of other relevant entities.
The purpose of the event was to accelerate efforts at controlling TB infection by improving the capacity of Afghan doctors and healthcare workers to detect and treat people suffering from the disease.
USAID Mission Director Herbie Smith reiterated American people’s commitment to supporting Afghanistan in its fight against TB.
“I am proud of USAID for leading our government’s efforts against TB around the world. We are committed to reaching out to every person with TB to cure those in need of treatment and to prevent new TB infections as part of our new Global TB Strategy,” Smith said.
WHO representative to Afghanistan Dr. Richard Pepperkorn, who spoke on the occasion, expressed his organisation’s strong support for Afghanistan in fighting against TB.
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