Mchinji District Health Office (DHO) says it is in need of a tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis equipment.
Speaking on Friday during a health stakeholders briefing on TB preventive therapy fundamentals, Mchinji DHO TB coordinator Steve Nyika said the district has one gene expert machine and one X-ray machine which is not functioning.
He said the development has stalled TB service delivery and the district is struggling to diagnose TB cases.
Said Nyika: “First, it is hard to diagnose infants because they take time to show TB signs and symptoms.
“Second, we take much time to test samples from remote areas due to logistical challenges. As a result, most people stay home until the situation worsens.”
He also said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected TB service delivery because it has compromised the collection samples from rural health facilities.
During the briefing, Journalists Association Against Aids (JournAids) presented Impaact4TB, a project in which the organisation in conjunction with Community Initiative for Social Empowerment lobbies for restructuring of TB policies and regimens to scale down TB cases in the district.
JournAids programme manager Dingani Mithi said TB was a public health issue; hence, the need to raise more awareness and share policy issues.
“We will also align our programming toward scaling up access to new TB therapy such as 3HP,” he said.
The project will also advocate for procurement of TB diagnosis equipment in the district.
In 2018, TB accounted for over 1.5 million deaths globally.