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60,000 new cases of tuberculosis a year in Angola

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LUANDA, Angola, 25th March, 2022 (WAM) — Angola has had an annual average of 60,000 new tuberculosis cases over the last three years, but the authorities acknowledge that the rates are higher due to cases that do not reach the hospital units, an official source said on Thursday.

The Portuguese News Agency (Lusa) quoted the coordinator of the National Programme for Tuberculosis Control in Angola, Ambrsio Disadidi, as saying that the current situation of the disease in the country “is worrying” because the new cases affect between 10 to 12 percent of children under 14 years old.

According to Disadidi, who was speaking on the sidelines of the central event for World Tuberculosis Day, which is remembered on 24th March, new infections in Angola, particularly over the last three years, are around 60,000 cases per year.

But, he stressed, “this is only the visible part of the iceberg because there are cases that are not diagnosed, that do not appear in hospitals.”

“Concerning deaths, saying that not all tuberculosis patients die in hospital, there are cases that die outside, but of those that die in hospitals, for example, in the first quarter of 2021 we had 5.3 percent deaths, meaning that five out of 100 patients died,” he explained to journalists.

Benguela, Namibe, Bengo, Cuando-Cubango, Moxico, Cuanza Norte and Cabinda are the Angolan provinces with the highest disease rates, which is a public health problem in the country.

The official, who presented the table on tuberculosis in Angola, said that the country registered 76,782 new cases in 2019. In 2020, there were 64,782 new cases, and last year 63,970 new cases were identified.

Angola currently has 13 sanatoriums, anti-tuberculosis dispensaries, diagnosis and treatment units and tuberculosis care services in all except one of the country’s 156 municipalities.

The continuous expansion of tuberculosis services, the patient follow-up to reduce the treatment abandonment rate and the strengthening of institutional partnerships and partners were some of the sector’s challenges.

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