(LINA) – The Regional Medical Officer of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Farai Mavhnga, has said that the unprecedented increase in Tuberculosis (TB) cases in Liberia has placed the nation among the 30 high burden nations in the world with TB.
Speaking to the Liberia News Agency recently in Monrovia, Dr. Mavhunga said, the most productive age group range of 15-54 years account for more than 87 percent of all forms of TB with obvious consequences on the socio-economic development of the country.
Tuberculosis is commonly referred to as TB and is a bacterial infection that affects the lung and is spread from person-to-person through the air or a tiny droplet from an infected person.
Mavhnga said the Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the WHO conducted a program review mission between July 8-19, 2019 in ten countries, noting that the MoH needs to take a serious step in tackling TB cases in various clinics and hospitals across the country.
He emphasized that the TB situation in Liberia is further complicated by the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant TB and the high incidence of HIV infection.
“We strongly motivate the national TB programmers, as well as agencies and organizations that are involved in TB control, to use the guidance included in this document to organize and implement the national programmer views we are planning,” the WHO official said.
He said the WHO responded to the call made by the Liberia government to come and conduct an assessment of the TB status in the country because the 2014 2018 integrated review program on TB has been implemented, and there is a need to implement the 2019-2020 integrated review program on on TB.
“Our major recommendation is for Liberia to move ahead to develop the next five-year plan collectively as a country and we will support whatever the government of Liberia requests of us, if it is in our capacity to support the health sector,” Mavhunga added.
He said if the right strategies are put into place and implemented, it is possible to reduce the high burden of TB cases in the country, noting that their intent is to improve the services of the TB program in the country.