Mozambique: Reduction in TB deaths – WHO

Mozambique has reduced the number of deaths from tuberculosis, according to the Global Tuberculosis Report 2021, published on Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO), which places the country among the success stories.

“The success stories include six of the world’s worst-hit nations, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Vietnam, which have achieved the goal” of reducing the number of deaths by at least 35% between 2015 and 2020.

That target was part of the ‘Eliminate Tuberculosis by 2020’ strategy.

Obtaining reliable data on the disease is difficult, so the WHO’s annual reports are based on best estimates given the ranges of data collected, which can be pretty broad.

The organisation estimates that 12,400 people died of tuberculosis in Mozambique in 2020 (about half associated with HIV), while five years earlier, those estimates showed that the total number of deaths per year could reach 55,000 – the reduction in deaths from the disease could be as much as 77% since then.

In other words, WHO today points to a current death rate of 11% among the estimated 115,000 cases in the country in 2020 for a universe of 31 million inhabitants – a prevalence of 368 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

“Globally, the cumulative reduction in tuberculosis incidence rate from 2015 to 2020 was 11%, just over half of what the 2020 milestone was,” the document noted.

“Six countries – India, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia – collectively accounted for 74% of patients who started treatment in 2020,” the organisation adds.

The WHO has three lists of countries most affected and requiring the most attention for 2021-25: a list with those with more TB, others with more HIV-associated TB, and those with more drug-resistant TB.

Mozambique is on all three lists, as are nine other countries: China, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa and Zambia.