Today, on World Tuberculosis Day, the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique acknowledges the progress made and the challenges that remain to reach the goal of eliminating tuberculosis (TB) as a public health problem by 2030.
Although Mozambique’s TB program has made tremendous progress over the past years, the country remains among the 14 countries most affected by TB. TB is one of the leading causes of death and the leading cause of death for people living with HIV in Mozambique. The United States continues to support Mozambique in taking concrete actions to fight the TB epidemic. This year alone, approximately $14 million will be invested bilaterally to support TB control activities.
The United States government has provided direct technical assistance to the National TB Program in Mozambique for more than ten years, focusing on the early diagnosis of TB cases, the integration of TB/HIV services, and the diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant TB. Thanks to the progress that has been made over this period, we have seen incredible progress in the choices available for treatment. For example, in Mozambique, TB patients now have access to treatment they can take at home, effectively minimizing the risk of transmitting the disease to others.
One person who has benefitted from the TB program is João Jaime who when he was 21 was feeling sick. “My uncle took me to the hospital…. The nurse took a sample to test, and they quickly saw that it was TB. Later, the doctors discovered that I was infected with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB),” recounted Mr. Jaime. After a six-month hospital stay, Mr. Jaime was able to return home and recover with his family.
“This is the type of relationship we need to stop TB. We cannot let stigma and discrimination have space in our communities. TB is a disease that needs help from all of us.” – said a nurse from a health center.
In collaboration with its partners, the United States has provided financial and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health for testing at health facilities and to improve the capacity of two regional laboratories to provide crucial testing and research.
Over the last year, TB programs funded by the U.S. Government and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis Control Program (PNCT) in Mozambique demonstrated progress in a number of areas, including:
- Mozambique reached 95.5% in TB detection rates;
- Mozambique has an exceptional Drug sensitive TB (DS-TB) treatment success rate of 94% (national target is above 90%);
- Improvement in Drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) treatment success rate, from 47% in 2017 to 75% in 2022;
- Almost 100% of new and relapsed TB patients were offered HIV testing and had their HIV status documented in their clinic files;
- 94% of newly diagnosed People Living with HIV (PLHIV) on Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) started Preventive Treatment for TB (TPT)
- The TPT completion rate for PLHIV is 87%.
The United States Government remains committed to working with Mozambique as part of global efforts to end tuberculosis. According to Ambassador of the United States for Mozambique, Peter H. Vrooman “To be effective, the response must be global, and it must represent a partnership of governments, civil society, affected communities, researchers, the private sector, and international development agencies.”
The Ambassador continued, “On this day, we join our international partners by adopting the Stop TB Partnership’s 2023 World TB Day theme: Yes! We can end TB. I truly believe that. The effort I have seen from the Government of Mozambique, in collaboration with civil society and other actors in the health sector, is impressive and deserves to be recognized. Let’s remember that TB is a curable disease, and by working together, we can treat and defeat TB. So today, not only do we remember the lives that have been lost to TB, but also, we should recommit ourselves to the work that must be done to bring this epidemic under control.”
TB assistance represents a critical component of the broader U.S. Government assistance to Mozambique. In close collaboration with the Government of Mozambique, the U.S. Government provides more than $500 million in annual assistance to help Mozambicans build a healthier, more democratic, more secure, and more prosperous county for all. This includes work done by multiple agencies of the U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAID’s work to foster sustainable development and advance human dignity visit www.usaid.gov.
Since 2001, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked closely with the Government of Mozambique, non-governmental organizations, community partners and multilateral partners to address some of Mozambique’s most significant public health challenges, including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Mozambique.