Zimbabwe health minister calls for new TB strategies

New strategies must be created to deal with multi-drug resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in Africa, Zimbabwe's health and child welfare minister announced recently.

Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera made the announcement while addressing health experts who were attending a two day forum on best practices in Harare, Zimbabwe, this week.

“We are now aware that MDR and XDR tuberculosis constitute a new challenge to our health systems and we need to find innovative and collaborative ways to address this new burden," Madzorera said, reports.

MDR-TB cannot be cured by isonia and rifambcin - two of the most powerful antibiotics for the infection - while XDR is caused by bacteria that are resistant to the most effective anti-TB drugs, according to

“We are monitoring the emergence of XDR-TB," Madzorera said, reports. "Whilst no cases have been reported, we border countries where these cases have been reported. We have free movements in the sub-region."

Madzorera also said that the region is facing a growing burden of disease, complicated by scarce human and financial resources. Most countries in the region, Madzorera said, are already lagging behind in meeting goals in line with the Millennium Development Goals on health.

Meeting the Millennium Development Goals has been a struggle for many African countries because of health sector underfunding, a shortage of health workers and the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.