At least 10 cases of the deadly multidrug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) have been registered in Malawi this year,besides registering increased cases of ordinary TB health officials say.

The report created fears in the public domain on safety of people on issues of MDR TB which is deadly and claims a lot of lives.

So far, 2011 alone out of about 300 people that have been diagnosed with MDR TB, about 8 death cases have been registered.

“TB is an epidemic that is killing millions of people worldwide. This is why we are so much into awareness and testing campaigns in the district,”said Blantyre District Health Officer (DHO) Owen Malema at Sigerege Primary School in Blantyre during the commemoration of World TB Day.

Malema said his office has observed increased cases of pulmonary TB and multi-drug resistant cases which are difficult and expensive to treat.

He, however, said cure rate has risen from 78 to 86 percent, but early detection is still a challenge.

“This is being achieved because of increased turn up for testing and spreading of sputum collecting centres across the communities,” he said.

But TB control program manager James Mpunga allayed fears of the MDR TB following a research that was done on the disease.

Mpunga told capital fm a recent national survey that was conducted in 2011 has established that the prevalence rate of the disease is not worrisome as much as its nature.

Recently researchers at the Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust recommended that the government and other NGOs create deliberate policies that will encourage men to access health care services.

Their comments follow research results that most men are not seeking health care despite having TB signs and symptoms, a development that is spreading the disease in the community.

Wellcome Trust Science Communication Officer Tamara Chipasula said TB is prone to high density areas hence the choice of Chilomoni for the commemoration.

“We are raising awareness especially in schools because children are vulnerable to TB and everyone should take responsibility in fighting the disease,” she said.

The day, which was commemorated under the theme “Stop TB in my Lifetime,” was organised by MLWT with funding from its research projects in conjunction with the office.
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