Malawi: Sputum Collecting Centres Vital in Fighting TB

Ntcheu — pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

Establishment of Sputum collecting centres in Ntcheu are having positive impact in identifying Tuberculosis (TB) patients in the distinct.

TB Coordinator for Ntcheu, Sydreck Golden said this Friday at Masimale Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kwataine during a joint review of TB and HIV Global Fund Programme.

He said the programme has establishment Care groups which are working with the communities in collecting Sputum within various localities in the district,

"We managed to collect 165 Sputum and 14 out of it were tested positive in October 2018. Nine of them were women and five were men who were put on treatment and out which 11, six were men and five women have managed to finish their dosages," Golden explained.

The Coordinator pointed out 39 health facilities are working in TB programmes in the district in which 15 are registered Sputum collection sites.

He said the first quarters from January to march 2019, had registered 86 cases which is slightly higher as compared to 69 cases during the same period last year.

Golden said the cure rate of the district still stand at 90 per cent with zero default rates and 11 per cent death rate which is slightly higher than recommended by World Health Organization which is less than five per cent.

He expressed concern of lack of specialized wards at the district fro the proper management of TB cases.

Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Project Officer, Chifundo Mchawa said TB still remains a national health problem,

She said over 50 per cent of TB cases in the country are still being missed because of lack of proper mechanism to detect the patients early.

"We need to strive to ensure that we can be able to eradicate TB by 2035 as recommended by WHO by engaging more communities to be responsive to the fight against the disease," Mchawa added.

She called on the Media in the country to play their role to sensitize the communities on the dangers of TB and encourage them to go for regular testing of the disease.

District Health Officer (DEHO) for Ntcheu, Bosco Kalua said Community Based Organizations, (CBOs), Churches and traditional healers need to play their rightful role to complimenting efforts being done by health personnel in the disease.

He said it was worrying to note that someone stakeholders in the district are discouraging some patients from administering their dosages by assuring them that they would help them get cured.

Kalua said patients on treatment need to be encouraged to be taking food supplements so that the treatment should work well in their bodies.

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