Community sputum collection proves effective in fighting TB in Mchinji

The use of volunteers in community sputum collection has proven effective in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) at community level in Mchinji district.

A media visit organized by National TB Program (NTP) to Chikoloka Community Sputum Collection Point in Chikoloka village, Traditional Authority (TA) Simphasi, revealed that the initiative has generated a lot of interest and willingness among the residents to be screened for TB.

TB survivor George Samuel narrating his story

Mchinji Deputy TB Officer Alex Mphalasa said the coming in of volunteers has brought positive impact to the detection of TB.

“There has been an increase in the number of presumptive referred to health centres by volunteers,” he said.

According to him, in 2020, the volunteers contributed 20 percent of the total referral cases to the district hospital.

Mphalasa said they received 1, 872 presumptive of which 95 were diagnosed with TB.

“All those found with the disease were put on treatment right away to prevent further spread,” he said.

Bridget Maleka, who is one of the volunteers at Chikoloka Point, said people now recognize their work in the community; hence, it has become easy to conduct screening services in the area.

“We follow others to their houses where we collect sputum and send to the health centre,” she said.

To get the results, the presumptive wait for a week and if found positive, they start their medication immediately, she said.

A TB patient George Samuel commended the volunteers for identifying him when he had signs and symptoms of TB.

“You saved my life and my family. I had cough for more than two weeks, sweating and weight loss. When they screened me and put me on drugs, Samuel said, I adhered to and finished the treatment. I’m now strong and joined the community in social and economic developments,” said Samuel.

NTP introduced Community Sputum Collection intervention across the country to help in the fight against TB.

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