Mozambique inaugurates new TB lab

Alexandre Manguele, Mozambique's Health Minister, has inaugurated Mozambique's largest tuberculosis laboratory, which has been rehabilitated and equipped in the country's largest hospital - the Maputo Central Hospital - to diagnose even the most resistant tuberculosis cases.

The rehabilitation of the lab cost an estimated $1.5 million. The lab has high technology tools financed by the United States Agency for International Development, Xinhua reports.

"This laboratory will provide specialized and reference diagnoses of micro bacteria and also contribute on the education of lab technicians, also to the external control of quality and evaluation of new technologies," Manguele said, according to Xinhua.

Toddi Amani, the USAID representative in Mozambique, expects that the lab will contribute to an overall improvement of services provided to the public. Mozambique has been rated 19th out of the 22 countries with a high index of tuberculosis by the World Health Organization. Over 500 out of each 100,000 people in Mozambique has the disease, Xinhua reports.

In 2008, Mozambique developed the National Strategic Plan TB 2008-2012 to focus on recommendations from the Stop TB Initiative, which hopes to reduce the burden of TB worldwide, the WHO reports. Some of the components of this plan include pursuing high quality directly observed treatment, contributing to the strengthening of health systems and addressing multi-drug resistant TB.