Lilongwe — National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme (NTP) has disclosed that the establishment of 2000 sputum collection points in the country has contributed to the prevention of 4,000 TB cases in the third quarter of 2018.
NTP Community Mobilization and Engagement Officer Beatrice Nindi made the remarks over the weekend in Salima during a biannual meeting for media practitioners.
She said although 1,500 centres are functioning out of 2,000, representing 91 per cent functional rate, the results are encouraging because community members visit the centres on their own volition when they feel signs and symptoms of TB to give sputum samples for diagnosis.
She said that 4.2 per cent was yield in 2018 from the five per cent which was the NTP’s targeted percentage and that there are also referrals from community sputum collection points to Health Centres thereafter referred to the District Hospitals.
Nindi disclosed that in the sputum collective points they work with volunteers, adding that, “Every sputum is supposed to have 10 volunteers but these points have only five trained volunteers due to lack of resources.”
“The volunteers are provided with gumboots, buckets, cups and reflectors for identification as well as protecting them from any infections,” the Engagement Officer added.
She said there is still a need for civic education on health issues to communities as well as awareness campaigns so that they know the signs and symptoms of TB and understand how they could prevent TB.