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Analytical summary - Tuberculosis

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TB continues to be among the major public health problems in the country. Although there has been a gradual reduction in the number of notifications (see Figure xxx below). A total of 50,415 TB cases were recorded in 2007, compared to 47,333 in 2008, representing a decrease in notification rates from 419/100,000 in 2007 to 408/100,000 in 2008.

Zambia TB cases 1980 - 2009

There is universal facility coverage with TB-DOTS services in all the provinces in the country and microscopy services have been expanding progressively since 2006. Innovations approaches have also been introduced, including the involvement of DOTS supporters and sputum referral systems where laboratory services are not available. Zambia has a policy of ensuring the availability of quality first line anti TB drugs at all times in all the public Health facilities.

This has made it possible to attain a treatment success rate of 86%, surpassing the WHO target of 85%. Consequently, the country is likely to attain the MDG target on TB.

In 2008, the TB Case Detection Rate was 58%, against the target of 75%, while the Defaulter Rate and Death Rate were recorded at 3% and 7%, respectively. With the recent emerging threat of drug resistant TB in the region, programmatic management of MDR TB has been included in the core TB program in the country. With respect to drug resistance, a total of 59 cases of multi-drug resistant TB were reported.

Another concern is the observed spread of tuberculosis in clinical settings and prisons and other congregate settings. To deal with this problem, the National TB Program is implementing infection control activities. Additionally, communities and people affected with TB are being empowered with the relevant information and support.