Asmara, 15 December 2020 – Tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate in Eritrea has significantly reduced in the last 10 years, Sister Hiwet Neguse, head of national TB controlling program at the Ministry of Health stated.
Speaking to Erina, Sister Hiwet noted that the global TB targets and associated milestones set by the WHO’s “End TB” strategy calls for a 90% reduction in TB deaths by 2030 and a 95% reduction by 2035, with corresponding reductions of respectively 80% and 90% in the TB incidence rate.
She further noted that Eritrea is working to meet the goal of TB eradication by increasing treatment coverage through the deployment of village health representatives to remote areas. 13% of TB patients are treated through village health representatives, she added.
Indicating that societal awareness on TB has risen to 95% resulting in the reduction of the discontinuation of TB drugs by patients to below 1%, Sister Hiwet stated that Multi-Drug resistant (MDR)-TB curing rate has exceeded 85%- global benchmark stands at 75%.
Indicating that the Ministry of Health has established a hospital in Merhano in 2011 with the objective of treating drug resistant TB patients, Sister Hiwet said that 254 patients are being treated for a two year span.
TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another mostly affecting the lungs, and that one TB patient can infect 10-15 persons if left untreated.
According to the World Health Organization, about 5 thousand people die of TB daily.