The World Bank has approved a $17 million grant (about K12 billion) for Malawi’s tuberculosis (TB) interventions.
Malawi is one of the four southern Africa nations benefitting from the World Bank $122 million funds, others being Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia.
Malawi and Mozambique, which has received $45 million, are getting grants while Zambia and Lesotho are getting $45 million and $15 million in credits, respectively.
The bank said in a statement issued yesterday that the funds will assist the country to mount an effective response to TB and occupational lung diseases.
“The project will support a paradigm shift in how the sub-region prevents and treats TB by introducing a multi-sectoral platform for regionally coordinated actions led by ministries of health, supporting the implementation of the latest WHO TB Strategy, including the 90-90-90 targets,” reads the statement in part.
Further, the bank says the funds will improve use of the latest diagnostic methods for TB and occupational lung diseases.
Reacting to the news, health rights activist Maziko Matemba welcomed the bank’s gesture.
“It is a very welcome development, bearing in mind that TB is one of the country’s major killers. A lot of Malawians die due to TB and several others do not know their TB status, so it is a disease that requires a lot of will make the country effectively respond to the disease,” said Matemba.
He, however, urged implementers to ensure that the resources are utilised on the earmarked purpose.
Southern Africa has the highest TB and HIV infection rates in the world, ranging from 50 percent to 77 percent. n