Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health problem in Malawi. In 2011, 20,000 new and relapse cases and 1,900 deaths were reported in Malawi. It is estimated that only 66% of TB cases are diagnosed. Sixty-three percent of people with TB are also HIV positive. The number of TB cases in Malawi increased steadily from 1995 until 2003, when it reached its peak (28,000 cases) and thereafter there has been a downward trend to approximately 20,000 cases notified in 2011. This is promising news for Malawi thanks to the efforts of the National TB Control Program (NTP) and its partners.
USAID is supporting the NTP to realize its vision of a tuberculosis-free Malawi by reducing the morbidity, mortality and transmission of tuberculosis until the disease is no longer a public health problem. TB CARE II supports Directly Observed Therapy Short course (DOTS) Strategy, TB/HIV service integration, management of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and health systems strengthening in twelve districts where the disease is most prevalent and there are the most severe gaps in TB and TB-HIV services. The project also provides technical and financial support to NTP.
In 2010, USAID funded the first ever MDR-TB prevalence study which found that MDR-TB is not as widespread as previously thought. Still, it remains an important issue, and concerted efforts by NTP, USAID and other partners have been necessary to strengthen management of MDR-TB in the country. We have done this by strengthening human resources and provision of novel technologies for early detection of MDR-TB as well as strengthening specimen and patient referral systems, and developing and disseminating guidelines for community management of MDR-TB.
Through PEPFAR Funding, USAID is also working with Baylor College of Medicine, the Support for Service Delivery Integrated project (SSDI) and Dignitas International (DI) to strengthen TB services at facility level. The Baylor project focuses on enhancing Pediatric TB diagnosis and treatment in high burden health facilities in Malawi’s central region.
Dignitas International is working in collaboration with TBCARE II to strengthen TB services including improving access to GeneXpert testing especially for HIV positive TB suspected cases. SSDI is also working in collaboration with DI and TBCARE II to strengthen community TB interventions including establishment and supporting community sputum collection points.
Funding (FY 2012)
National TB Control Program, University Research Company, Partners in Health, Project Hope, Baylor College of Medicine, Dignitas International, JHPIEGO
Miriam Lutz, Chief
Office of Health
Last updated: October 04, 2013