The Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) has said the cure rate for tuberculosis (TB) has gone up from 78 percent to 86 percent.
Blantyre DHO Dr. Owen Malema said this on Sunday during commemoration of the World Tuberculosis Day, an event organised by the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust (MLWT) at Chilomoni, Blantyre.
Malema said the rising rate was a good sign because more people were treated, leading to reduced rate of transmitting the disease to others.
He said: “The event today is a reminder that TB is real and it is still killing a lot of people in developing countries like Malawi, but the DHO is happy with the soaring of cure rate of TB in the city.
“Aid from various organisations has helped the DHO in procuring TB drugs and with awareness campaigns, more people are willing to get tested of the disease. The stigma of TB has also gone down.”
MLWT’s science communications officer Tamara Chipasula said the day was important for the eradication of TB through awareness campaigns.
She said students were involved in the event because they are more vulnerable to TB since their immune systems are not fully developed.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) rates TB as second only to HIV and Aids as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.
In 2011, 8.7 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died from TB, according to WHO. However, the TB death rate dropped 41 percent between 1990 and 2011.
TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected, according to WHO.