Disease Outbreak News

Tanzania disseminates preliminary results of the national tuberculosis prevalence survey

The Hon. Minister for Health and Social Welfare launching the report of the First National Tuberculosis Survey.
The Hon. Minister for Health and Social Welfare launching the report of the First National Tuberculosis Survey.

On 5th of July, 2013, the United Republic of Tanzania became one of the first five African countries to complete the national Tuberculosis prevalence survey.

Dissemination of the preliminary results was presided by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hon. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi; the Ag. Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health and Social Welfare; Directors and Programme Officers from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, National Institute for Medical Research and the National TB and Leprosy Programme; the World Health Organization Representative for Tanzania, Dr. Rufaro Chatora, WHO staff from the Country, Regional and Headquarters Offices, Development Partners including Representatives from the USAID and Global Fund and members of the media.

The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hon. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, began his address by congratulating the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme and the National Institute for Medical Research for implementing the first National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey in the country.

In his remarks, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare highlighted progress made so far in Tuberculosis control in the country including the use of Directly Observed Treatment Short Course for Tuberculosis, the introduction of fixed dose combination (FDC) and Patient Centered TB treatment (PCT). Announcing the key findings of the National Prevalence Survey, the Minister said, “The prevalence of tuberculosis in the country is 295/100,000. This shows that TB is still a major burden in the country. Furthermore, results have shown that TB is more prevalent in males than in females and that the prevalence of HIV infection among TB suspects is 4.8% and among TB patients is 6.5%. This calls for renewed efforts by all to strengthen the current health delivery system and program interventions for tuberculosis in Tanzania.” He concluded his address by appreciating support availed to the country by development partners in the fight against Tuberculosis. As a gesture of appreciation for WHO’s support, the Minister handed over the preliminary findings of the national Tuberculosis prevalence survey to the WHO Representative, Dr. Rufaro Chatora and officially launched the First National Tuberculosis Survey.

The WHO Representative, Dr. Rufaro Chatora, in his remarks highlighted the challenges and lessons learnt from the survey. He said, “The TB burden is still large. However, the survey results show positive impact of well implemented DOTS services demonstrated by a shift of the epidemic to older populations that we have not yet observed in other African countries. At the same time, we also see a mode among the most economically productive age group (25-34 year olds) suggesting that TB is still circulating in the community. Moreover, half of those prevalent cases in the community reported chronic cough and more cases were detected in the rural areas where routine case notification is low. Thus, there is need to strengthen basic DOTS services to pick up more of these prevalent but undetected cases”.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Chatora commended the Government of Tanzania and the NTLP for completion and dissemination of the results of the survey. He urged the country to use the results and experiences for better planning and resource mobilization and allocation. Furthermore, he encouraged further analysis to be done by the NTLP in collaboration with partners to finalise the results and to re-estimate the burden of TB in Tanzania more accurately. He then concluded by reassuring WHO’s commitment to continue to avail technical expertise towards TB control in the country.

  Tanzania disseminates preliminary results of the national tuberculosis prevalence survey [488.28kB]