ZCLDN statement on World TB Day
Saturday, 24 March 2018
The Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network (ZCLDN) joins the people of Zimbabwe and the international community in commemorating the World TB Day.
In Zimbabwe, the Day, which is being commemorated on Saturday, 24 March, is being held when the country undergoing a national health crisis due to the three week strike by the government junior doctors.
The doctors’ strike has seriously affected patients across the country with TB patients being the most affected. TB patients are in need of regular medical attention. But the strike by the doctors has seriously affected TB patients the worst as they are failing to get access to treatment and counselling. Some cases of TB patients who are in need of urgent medical treatment being turned away from government hospitals have been reported at some medical centres.
As the ZCLDN we urge the government to urgently look into the concerns of the junior medical doctors and meet their demands so that the doctors are able to resume their duties.
The current strike by the doctors if not resolved urgently, will seriously affected Zimbabwe’s goals of ending TB within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework by 2030, which the country had fully adopted.
The ZCLDN also urges members of the public not to discriminate, stigmatise, marginalise TB patients in their communities.
New national guidelines have shown that TB most prevalent in urban settings like Hopley, Epworth, Whitecliff and other informal settlements, which has seen an increase in TB incidences due to poor ventilation and over crowdedness. These are areas where the ZCLDN has noticed a high prevalence of drug use misuse and has seriously affected TB patients who also use drugs.
We, therefore, call upon the government and the people of Zimbabwe not to leave out TB patients who use drugs in the fight against ending TB.
The goal to ending TB by 2030 can only be achieved if there is more investment towards TB response by the patients their relatives, government, churches and the private sector.
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