Monday, 27 August 2012

Zambian gov't set to conduct T/B prevalence survey

Zambian Government through the ministry of health is in the process of conducting a tuberculosis prevalence survey to understanding the burden of the disease.

The TB prevalence survey will be conducted country wide with a sample size of 50,000people to take part.
According to ministry of health director of public health and research dr elizabeth chizema the survey is in line with governments aim of reducing and combating the disease and finding ways of tackling challenges such as HIV and drug resistance in patients.
Dr chizema says the survey which is the first of it's kind will be conducted in partnership with other cooperating partners and various communities were participants in the survey will be coming from.
She says the ministry is also trying to include a new and cost effective tool called loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) which is a new diagnostic tool developed in japan and being evaluated at UTH tb lab for its sensitivity and specificity.
"The aim of the evaluation is to establish a simple, rapid and inexpensive TB diagnostic tool which will enhance effective TB control in zambia through early diagnosis and treatment" said dr chizema.
she says during the on-going evaluation, a research by carrying out LAMP examination on samples colected from participants who have concerted to give sputum and urine were performed and as a result of this, it has been observed that TB-LAMP method is 100%specific and about 90% sensitive compared to direct sputum smear microscopy.
Tuberculosis poses a great challenge to public health particularly in developing countries where 95percent of the world's cases occur.

Most of sub-Saharan Africa countries have reported increasing incidences since the onset of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Zambia has one of the highest incidences of TB in the world.
In 2010 Zambia had 462 new TB cases per 100,000 populations, exacerbated by HIV pandemic and at the moment has a 14percent HIV prevalence rate with 70percent of all new TB patients are co-infected with TB

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