BY ELIAS NYIRENDA
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major health problem in Malawi. The disease is further compound by the presence of HIV AND AIDS as statistics indicates that six in ten people with TB are also infected with HIV.
Life Concern Organization realizes this challenge. The organization has since integrated TB services into its existing programmes.
For instance under the sexual reproduction health and rights project currently being implemented in Bolero area, LICO also facilitates the delivery of TB services using local community structures.
LICO has engaged members of the communities called TB Sputum volunteers who people mobilized from the villages in Bolero.
Their task is to collect sputum from the communities and transport it to Bolero Rural hospital for TB screening.
LICO Executive Director Peter Gondwe says early diagnosis and adherence to treatment is critical to eradicating the disease in the country
Withstanding this fact, the organization engaged seven TB sputum collection points and so far over 250 people have submitted sputum has been collected from Bolero area and sent to the rural hospital for TB screening.
Gondwe said recently he organized a week long training for the TB sputum collection volunteers which was facilitated by Ministry of Health through Rumphi district hospital office in order to equip them with necessary skills on sputum collection, care for TB patients and adherence to treatment.
Besides the training, the volunteers have also been given push bikes in order to ease mobility as they discharge their duties.
The volunteers are also working hand in hand with established health personnel in delivering health education on TB.