Herbalists in Dedza have embarked on three months tuberculosis (TB) awareness campaign with the aim of encouraging community members to seek medical attention at medical health facilities whenever they catch the illness.
President for Dedza Herbalists Association, Masiyambuyo Njolomole, said on Wednesday there is an increase in TB cases due to prevalence of HIV and AIDS pandemic, hence the need for serious awareness to make sure patients do not seek treatment from traditional healers.
“As herbalists, we do not have a cure for TB so people should stop seeking medical help from us. We are also encouraging all herbalists practicing in the district to duly refer TB patients to the hospital so that they get proper medical attention,” Njolomole said.
He condemned a tendency by some traditional healers who allegedly admit TB patients in their homes, claiming to have a cure for the disease.
“There are some promiscuous herbalists who are cheating people that they can cure TB. We are currently documenting all herbalists practicing in Dedza to make sure we are easily monitoring their activities,” he said.
Coordinator for TB treatment at Dedza District Hospital, Daniel Mlongoti, said reports that some herbalists admit TB patients in their homes are deplorable, saying the tendency can negatively affect management of the illness in the district.
Mlongoti said it is important to properly manage ordinary TB cases to avoid the development of drug-resistant TB strains.
“If TB patients delay in starting medication, there is a risk that they can develop drug-resistant TB which is very difficult to cure. It is very necessary for patients to start taking medication before their condition deteriorates,” he said.
He said the hospital will also increase its level of awareness on TB to enlighten communities on the disease.