Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is in on rise in the Harare, City Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi has warned.
(MDR-TB) occurs when the bacteria are resistant to usual TB treatment. This means that these medicines are unable to kill the bacteria. It is mainly caused by failure to complete prescribed treatment course.
Harare however remains a centre of excellence in TB treatment in Zimbabwe.
Dr Chonzi said there are two reasons why this type of tuberculosis is on the rise.
“There are people on treatment who are moving into new settlements from outside the city and they are not being properly transferred into the Harare system. They end up not taking adequate drugs and dosages and in the end develop MDR-TB,” he said.
Most new settlements in the city are illegal and do not have the necessary facilities like clinics. The structures built are also sub-standard and sometimes do not have proper ventilation making the chances of transmitting tuberculosis higher.
“Then are those who are coming from outside the country, especially South Africa where MDR-TB is rampant. They must go into our system, and be properly registered. We will put them on treatment and do a follow up so that they are treated,” he said.
Most people with TB are cured by a strictly followed, 6-month drug regimen that is provided to patients with support and supervision.