Zambia’s life expectancy has risen from 37 to 43 years, partly due to various medical interventions, Ministry of Health spokesperson Kamoto Mbewe has said.
The Ministry of Health has also made significant strides in fighting Tuberculosis (TB) in the country.
Dr Mbewe said the improvement was mainly due to the many milestones his ministry has made in fighting pandemics such as HIV and AIDS which had previously reduced the life expectancy in Zambia.
In response to a press query on Tuesday, Dr Mbewe said the infection rate of TB has drastically dropped.
“The main reason for the reduction in the TB infection rate is the introduction of the National TB Control Programme, which focuses on addressing the problem and implementation of the TB control strategy in a consistent and effective manner,” Dr Mbewe said.
He said other factors that have led to a decline in the number of TB cases, include a good monitoring and evaluation system, quality assured drugs for patient management and care as well as availability of effective treatment.
Dr Mbewe said global health initiatives such as the Global Fund have also helped to reduce the prevalence rate of TB, as more resources for treating the disease are readily available.
He also said good programme management has led to a rise in the successful treatment of TB patients which in 2000 stood at 66 percent but rose to 86 percent in 2010.
Dr Mbewe said this is because many cases were identified early and treated successfully. The transmission rate of TB has also reduced in the communities.
He said because of the current interventions the Ministry of Health has embarked on combating TB, HIV and AIDS and other related illnesses.
He however said the burden of TB is still high despite the strides made so far, adding that there is need for more efforts in dealing with TB in children and prisons.
Dr Mbewe said laboratories should be well equipped so that many TB, HIV and AIDS cases can be detected early.
[Zambia Daily Mail]