Community volunteers playing vital role in TB case detection


Community volunteers have been hailed for the vital role they are playing in the fight against TB.

The volunteers work hand in hand with health surveillance assistants in their respective areas in collecting sputum and also sensitizing the communities about Tuberculosis, how it is transmitted and how it can be prevented.

Lewis Tukula who is District Environmental Officer in Karonga District said one of the factors that have led to high treatment success rate in the district is the introduction of community volunteers who are working tirelessly to win the fight against TB.

Lewis Tukula

“In Karonga, we have volunteers who work in various sputum collection points that are established in the community and then the volunteers are trained and they are helping us alot in terms of case detection at community level. These volunteers work hand in hand with health surveillance assistant who are also working at the community level to make sure that we detect the TB Cases as early as possible.

“The volunteers also raise awareness, sensitisation to do with TB disease on how it is caused, how it is spread and how it can be prevented. So overall with the help of community volunteers the fight against TB in the district is going very well,” said Tukula.

The volunteers have also played a big part in TB fight in Rumphi District as well.

Speaking to Malawi24, Rumphi District Environmental Officer John Mpoya said in Rumphi district the Community volunteers have helped a lot and they have made work very easy for health workers.


“Here in Rumphi we have community volunteers and these volunteers have really helped us in TB. The volunteers do collect sputum in their communities through sputum collections points and in total as a district we have 53 sputum collection points and 530 volunteers. These volunteers are able to go door to door identifying TB cases and those presumptive cases are identified early before the condition worsens and even sputum collection points are done in the community unlike in the past where we had to travel all the way from the community to the district but right now services are close to people and we find cases more easily than in the past and this is possible through these community volunteers,” said Mpoya.

Mpoya added that despite doing good work in the community, the volunteers are facing some challenges.

They do not have bicycles to use when doing their work and lack some things that they use in their work among others.

Zebron Janireki, a volunteer in Rumphi district said as a volunteer his call of duty is to save people’s lives in the community and he really puts much effort in the fight against TB in his community.

“As volunteers we engage the community, we usually meet twice in a month. When we meet these people we discuss and they tell us their problems, so we take their queries to our seniors, and those seniors give us some advice so that we help these people. We also collect sputum from our communities for screening and we do sensitize the people in our communities on how TB can be contracted, transmitted and also prevented so we really play a big role in TB Fight.

“But we are having a lot of challenges, during rainy season, we cannot move door to door because we don’t have raincoats and other things like transport. Some time back, they were providing bicycles so it was very easy for us, but now they stopped so it is a big challenge and also we don’t have bags to carry some stuffs we use when working so these are some of the challenges and we would appreciate if they can be addressed as soon as possible,” said Janireki.

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