The Secretary of State for Public Health, Carlos Pinto de Sousa, announced on Wednesday that Angola has registered at least 50,612 cases of tuberculosis (TB) between January and September this year.
Of the 50,612 cases, 3,509 were children under the age of 15, while another 3,87 were cases of co-infection of tuberculosis and HIV.
In 2022, a total of 69,259 new cases of tuberculosis were reported in Angola, the highest number of cases reported in the last five years.
According to the official, the high “burden” of morbidity and mortality has negative consequences for the health and economy of families and communities, which affects national development due to absenteeism from school, work and loss of productivity.
He said that in order to minimise and reduce the number of cases, the Ministry of Health is committed to expanding the network of tuberculosis services from 289 units in 2018 to 355 by 2022.
In the same period, he added, there was an increase in the number of municipalities with the capacity to diagnose and treat tuberculosis cases, from 111 to 155. Angola has 164 municipalities.
According to Carlos Pinto de Sousa, the country’s 18 provinces have the capacity to diagnose drug-resistant tuberculosis.
He stressed that there are still many challenges in the process of expanding the network of tuberculosis care services, giving as an example increasing decentralised access to diagnosis and treatment, carrying out follow-up consultations and providing free and uninterrupted supervised medication, strengthening the partnership to expand the Community DOT, among others.
In this process, the secretary considered the active collaboration of all the players to be fundamental, particularly the different ministerial departments and social partners. “Together we can guarantee the sustainability of early diagnosis and timely, uninterrupted treatment to put an end to the disease.”
He reiterated that the Ministry of Health will continue its efforts to combat tuberculosis.