The World Health Organization (WHO) has named Tanzania as one of the countries that have exceeded or reached the goal of reducing new tuberculosis (TB) infections within a decade.

In his message on the World Tuberculosis Day celebrated yesterday in Simiyu region, the Director of the WHO Africa Region, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti mentioned other countries as Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

He said they have exceeded or reached the 20 percent goal of reducing new patients due to technical support, coordination and continuous cooperation from WHO.

"Great progress has been made in the past decade, especially in the East and South African regions.

Countries with a high burden, such as Tanzania... have exceeded or reached the 20 percent target to reduce new TB cases," he said.

Dr. Moeti urged leaders, government, development partners, society and all stakeholders to quickly develop the robust health systems needed to achieve the goals of Sustainable Development by 2030.

Regarding the celebration of World Tuberculosis Day, which takes place every March 24, he said the aim is to motivate the public to protect themselves, to understand the health, social and economic effects of the preventable disease.

This year's slogan is 'Yes, we can end TB.'

In addition, speaking at the celebration in Bariadi, Dr. Johnson Lyimo from WHO Tanzania, praised the launch of a sectoral plan between the government and stakeholders that took place yesterday, the aim of which is to set a sectoral strategy to deal with this disease outside the health sector.

"We have been trying to advise that the struggle must be faced by the sector more than the health sector because those who are facing TB are people with poverty, economic problems... to solve these things, there must be a sectoral strategy," he said.

He said WHO has been collaborating with the government and stakeholders to develop a country strategy which he said is a matter of congratulations to see it completed.

"Today we have reached the end of this stage, we have launched this system to involve the government and other stakeholders outside the health sector.

According to Dr. Lyimo, the program was approved in 2017 at the WHO meeting after it became clear that there is a need for a strategy outside the health sector.

The Chairman of the Union of Stakeholders involved in the eradication of Tuberculosis in Tanzania (Stop TB), Dr. Peter Bujari said that it is necessary for stakeholders to work together to eradicate the disease and not leave it to the Ministry of Health alone.

Earlier, in his message, Dr. Moeti said WHO is happy to see member countries increase the use of new tools and guidelines recommended by the organization and thus expand the scope of services