Ministry of Health intensifies TB screening initiative

Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MoH), under the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), has procured state-of-the-art mobile van clinics in a bid to intensify it’s strategic plan to reassess active cases of the deadly disease.

Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi being invited to go for the TB test when he launched the initiative in Lilongwe

MoH publicity officer Joshua Malango said NTP has seven of these named mobile van intervention and are stationed Blantyre City (2), the Capital City Lilongwe (2), Mzuzu, Zomba and Mangochi.

“The mobile van intervention is in response to findings of Prevalence TB survey which showed that Malawi is missing almost 45% of TB cases,” Malango said.  “Malawi’s NTP therefore revised it’s strategic plan to now start finding cases actively.

“The mobile vans, door to door services and systematic TB screening are some of the interventions to find those missing cases,” he said.

He said the initiative is supported by Malawi Government and Global Fund. Other partners are Challenge TB project.

“The intervention is targeting the districts with the highest TB burden in Malawi. We plan to reach out to other districts subject to availability of funds.

“This initiative is here to stay. It’s a government ran program and we will seek to integrate this in our routine systems.

“The progress of the initiative will be disseminated through MoH website, dissemination fora and media interface meetings,” he said.

Nyasa Times reporter sampled the exercise when he bumped into one van stationed in Ndirande on Monday. They are equipped with a public address system that woes the public to go for the screening even though they are not sick of the deadly disease.

The process starts with registration as well answering questions of their health history then they are ushered inside the van where there is a sophisticated equipment on which one places their chest and the results are received through a computer.

If one is found with the disease or are in danger of getting closer to it, they are counselled to start taking medication.

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