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Friday, May 24, 2024
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Government commissions 8 mobile X-ray trucks

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

Government and its partners have deployed resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve commitments made to end the disease by 2030.

To ensure that TB services are brought close to the people, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, through support from the Global Fund, has secured eight mobile X-ray trucks equipped with a laboratory to screen for TB as well as other diseases like HIV and high blood pressure, among others.

The trucks were commissioned by Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga this Friday at belated World TB Day commemorations in Chiweshe, and have been described by TB survivors and champions as a huge step towards ending TB.

A survivor told the ZBC News, “We are really grateful to the government for these trucks because now people staying in remote areas will have access to TB screening and treatment.”

Another said, “If we had these machines from way back am sure a lot of people would be alive to this day, so I am really grateful and would like to commend the government.”

Vice President Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, said the ministry has put in place mechanisms to find missed TB cases.

“I am happy to officially hand over the 8 X-ray trucks to our rural provinces. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put TB control strategies progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with the Government’s National Health Strategy.

“A TB-free Zimbabwe, among other achievements in the health sector, will contribute to Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030. As a country, we affirm our commitment to the achievement of the declaration signed in 2018 to end TB. We cannot afford to put our guard down; let us put all hands on the deck and push ourselves to the last mile. A TB-free Zimbabwe is possible, only if we all work together,” he said.

Although Zimbabwe was removed from the world’s top 30 list of countries heavily burdened by TB, it now has a double burden of multi-drug resistant TB and TB /HIV with a co-infection rate of 50 per cent.

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