Mzimba South has registered success in the fight against Tuberculosis as 136 out of 151 patients have been cured of the disease.
According to Mzimba TB Clinical Associate Shadreck Mkupila, in 2020 they recorded 151 cases in Mzimba South and out 151, twelve died, 1 person was not evaluated and 136 people were cured from disease which represent 90% treatment rate. The cases were recorded in all 4 quarters in 2020.
“We managed to beat the target which is 85% TB treatment rate, and this is good and we are proud of our team here in Mzimba South. In 2021, we have recorded 175 cases and all of them are under TB treatment and we keep monitoring them and we will declare if they have been cured from TB at the end of 2022. So far we are doing very fine as I have said we have 175 patients under care and also we have 6 patients that are in care for multi drug resistance TB. So we are following up these patients on monitoring basis to check their progress, sputum monitoring, drug adherence and drug side effects and the like so we are doing fine”, said Mkupila.
He added that they have put some ways in place to contain the disease which include awareness campaigns in the communities about TB and also sputum collections points which are crucial in TB case identification especially at community level.
“So far we have sputum collection points in total they are 95 sputum collection points, these collection points are working on identifying patients that have cough in the community and at the same time they collect sputum samples for analysis as well. We are also actually trying to teach the general community, suppose a case has been identified we need to teach them on how that one can also isolate from other members so that they shouldn’t get infected by the same virus. If it’s a father or mother, we also ask so that they should be putting a mask, they should be isolating themselves, most important we should also monitor the sputum, once the sputum turns negative it’s when we can advise them to be together.
“But at least we are trying to teach them so that they shouldn’t be spreading the disease. We also have the mobile van that comes to do TB screening especially in spots like prison, so we have a system that is in place just to help in picking up cases as early as possible,” explained Mkupila.
Mkupila also noted that the sputum collection points are crucial because they are helping quite a lot and a good number of cases are coming out from the sputum collection points.
In his remarks, Mzimba South assistant TB officer Darwin Sanga said TB cases are high in Mzimba because Mzimba has mining industry, as high HIV prevalence rate and there is also migration as a lot of people go to South Africa almost on daily basis.
Chrispin Kapelemela, Mzimba Laboratory Technician, said at a district level they receive about 100 samples plus a day from all heath centres in the district including sputum collection points and 10 % of those samples become positive and 90 % of them turns out negative, and this means if they collect 100 samples from 100 people 10 of them became positive and 90 of them become negative.