Manicaland referral hospitals get TB X-ray machines

18 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Manicaland referral hospitals get TB X-ray machines The Ministry of Health and Child Care is set to distribute digital chest X-ray machines to screen for child tuberculosis at the seven referral hospitals in Manicaland

The ManicaPost

 

Tendai Gukutikwa
Health Reporter

IN a positive move aimed at eradicating the spread of childhood tuberculosis (TB) in the province, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is set to distribute digital chest X-ray machines to screen for the disease at the seven referral hospitals in Manicaland.

In an interview on the sidelines of a regional stakeholders’ post-UN High-Level Meeting on TB feedback held in Mutare recently, acting deputy director (Aids and TB Unit), Dr Fungai Kavhenga said the machines will enhance diagnostic capabilities, while allowing for early detection and initiation of treatment.

He said this follows high cases of children affected by the disease in the country.

“We are increasing access to childhood TB services because children are disproportionally affected by TB, hence the need to focus on them. As a result, we have adopted a number of strategies and innovations to close that gap, and this includes the use of stool for diagnosing TB in children, training healthcare workers and ensuring that there are digital X-ray machines readily available in all referral hospital.

“Just like every other region in the country, Manicaland will be receiving digital chest X-ray machines so that we increase access to diagnostic services in the province,” he said.

Dr Kavhenga said the X-rays will be distributed across all the seven districts of Manicaland as part of the decentralisation of services to every corner of the province.

“The distribution is based on need and disease burden, and because Manicaland has high TB deaths, we found it fit to decentralise such services to all districts in the province. This will ultimately reduce the transmission of TB within the communities in the province,” he said.

Dr Kavhenga further said there will also be comprehensive training programmes for health workers across all the seven districts of Manicaland to equip them with the necessary skills to effectively identify and treat TB cases.

“The training for healthcare workers will straddle across all the seven districts in Manicaland. Firstly, we are going to do a training of trainers, and then this pool of trainers will then cascade the trainings to all districts. This is because we want to ensure that every healthcare worker dealing with such cases is adequately trained,” he said.

Dr Kavhenga said as part of the ministry’s capacity building initiatives, faith, traditional and community leaders will also be trained.

“This is because we know that communities play a central role in the TB control and elimination, and as a result we will not leave them behind,” he said.

He said the initiatives were made possible by the commitment made by President Mnangagwa at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the fight against TB in September last year.

“At the meeting, the President made a commitment that the country will eliminate TB by 2030 and to increase financing of TB programmes in the country. After the meeting he called on the country to use research and innovation to introduce new strategies and tools that will help end TB in the country — which is what we are now implementing to eliminated TB by 2030,” he said.

Dr Kavhenga said Manicaland has of late been recording high TB deaths due to stigma and discrimination, lack of adequate nutrition within patients and limited access to quality TB care services.

However, the country continues to record positive strides in the fight against TB from 2018 to date.

 

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