Mzimba North District Health Office (DHO) says it is winning the fight against Tuberculosis (TB), thanks to consistent mass awareness and screening.
DHO spokesperson Lovemore Kawayi told Malawi News Agency (Mana) several cases, which were not identified before, are being detected since the office intensified TB interventions.
Previously, many people were suffering silently in their homes as they could not distinguish ordinary cough from TB, he said.
“When we discovered that many cases were going undetected, we started mass screening in communities and prisons. We also conduct civic education to lobby people to go for screening,” he explained.
The DHO has trained community-based volunteers who collect sputum in selected centres and take the specimen to Mzimba District Hospital for testing.
“Previously, health workers in the district would diagnose about 100 cases every three months. But the number has doubled since we scaled up interventions,” Kawayi said.
Diagnosing TB in time has led to improved treatment outcomes and reduced TB-related deaths, he said.
Kawayi asked people to be cooperative when asked questions related to TB signs and symptoms as this helps medical personnel identify their needs. n