ZIMBABWE has recorded a decline in HIV associated TB deaths owing to improved TB diagnosis and treatment for people living with HIV, USAID has said.
By Michael Gwarisa
Speaking through their official Facebook page, USAID said HIV related TB deaths had decreased in Zimbabwe and plans to reduce it further through comprehensive treatment programs were in place.
“We have exciting news to share! TB is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. But in Zimbabwe, HIV-associated TB deaths have decreased by 75 percent in the past 3 years alone.
“USAID is proud to be a part of this amazing progress. We support 46 integrated TB-HIV care sites around the country that are on the cutting edge of improving TB diagnosis and treatment for people living with HIV,” said USAID.
According to statistics, HIV prevalence has decreased by 28% over the last decade, TB incidence dropped by nearly 60% over the same period, and investments made in improving quality of care such as integrated electronic patient tracking system.
The country increased the number of districts classified in pre-elimination strata from seven in 2014 to 22 by December 2016, with mortality declining by 57% from 1 069 deaths in 2003 to 462 deaths in 2015.
Zimbabwe has made considerable progress in its response against HIV and TB and in building resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH).
Latest statistics have shown Matabeleland South Province currently tops in terms of TB death rate in the country.
The province also tops the number of HIV positive people with TB at 83 percent.
Midlands Province also has a 14 percent death rate. The nationwide picture of the death rates shows that 75 percent of districts were above the national and global target of five percent with the high death rate districts being in the southern parts of the country.
Matobo district in Matabeleland South Province has the highest death rate in the country standing at 31 percent followed by Bubi and Nkayi in Matabeleland North with 25 percent and 24 percent respectively. Death rates for Bulilima, Mangwe and Umzingwane also stand at 24 percent while Mberengwa is at 23 percent and Gwanda has a 20 percent death rate.