Mozambique: Over Eight Thousand Children Show Signs of Tuberculosis

More than 300,000 children between the age of six months and five years old were screened for tuberculosis during Mozambique’s National Health Week which ended on 29 July. According to figures released by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, over eight thousand children presented signs of tuberculosis.

The Deputy National Director of Public Health, Quinhas Fernandes, told reporters that some of the children had direct contact with patients with tuberculosis and have been referred to health units where a more accurate diagnosis can be carried out.

Most of the suspected cases were registered in Cabo Delgado province (2,350), Zambezia (1,370), Sofala (1,226), Tete (1,194), and Nampula (1,150). However, the figures for Gaza province are not yet available.

In general, the Ministry of Health considers the National Health Week to have exceeded expectations. A total of 4,587,408 children received vitamin A supplements (106 per cent of the target), and 3,861,994 children were dewormed (101 per cent of the target). In addition, family planning and contraception was given to 677,456 women, which was 120 per cent of the week’s target.

According to Fernandes, this level of coverage is the result of the involvement of all the population, but particularly community leaders, cooperation partners, communications specialists, and health care professionals who spread the word so that families knew to present themselves at the health units.

She added, “we are all to be congratulated for the achieved coverage levels as they contribute greatly to realising the goals set by the government to accelerate, at the national level, progress in reducing maternal, newborn, and child, morbidity and mortality and to promote family health”.

During the week children received vaccinations, were dewormed with the anti-parasitic drug Mebendazole, and were given vitamin “A” supplements. In addition, children were screened for signs of malnutrition.

The campaign also offered the opportunity to register the birth of children less than five years of age to families who had not yet completed this task.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique.