Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with two-thirds of the population surviving on less than USD $1 a day. The average life expectancy is just 54 years, and the country has been hard hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
This has led to a massive rise in the number of TB cases over the past 20 years, and TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV and AIDS, accounting for 40 percent of AIDS deaths. So it was crucial for TB Alert that any projects we established in the country tackled both these conditions together, in order to be successful.
We are now working in two of the poorest areas of Malawi, Chiwamba and Mulanje. Both of these areas are characterised by extremely high levels of poverty, combined with poor health services and a lack of awareness about HIV/AIDS and TB. Although the two projects use different approaches, they share the same goals: to raise awareness around TB and to get people into, and staying on, treatment.
Stats and facts: TB in Malawi
In 2012 there were 13 avoidable deaths a day from TB in Malawi.
- Number of new TB cases: 26,000
- Deaths from TB: 4,900
- Incidence: 163 per 100,000 of population
- Proportion of people with TB not diagnosed: 22%
- Percentage of cases with HIV: 61%
- Estimated new TB cases with multi-drug resistance: 0.42%