TB patients urged to adhere to treatment

Lilongwe: National TB Control Programme (NTP) says elimination of the disease in Malawi could be achieved by ensuring that TB patients do not default treatment, among other means.

National TB Control Programme Advisor, Dr Daniel Nyangulu made the remarks Wednesday in Mchinji during a media professional meeting on TB organized by NTP.

Among other objectives, the meeting aimed at updating media staff on Tuberculosis indicators’ performances; equipping the media professionals with knowledge on basic Tuberculosis; strengthening collaboration between National TB Control Programme and Media professionals, and improve media coverage of the disease.

Dr Nyangulu said there is need for all stakeholders to strengthen TB treatment management system to ensure that patients diagnosed with the disease adhere to the treatment regimen.

Treatment interruption, even at a short interval of more than three days, directly affects treatment outcome. It is, therefore, recommended that TB patients be clinically monitored during treatment, said Dr Nyangulu.

He however expressed satisfaction to note that the interventions which NTP has put in place to fight TB are bearing desired results.

He added: TB is curable, as such; patients ought to follow treatment prescription to avoid developing health complications.

TB-HIV Programme Officer, Henry Kanyerere revealed that treatment interruption can also cause Multi Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB).

He added that inadequate supervision, interrupted drug supplies and inadequate record keeping and poor quality drugs are some of the factors that cause MDR-TB.

In her remarks, National TB Coordinator, Beatrice Nindi said NTP has intensified health education campaigns to equip communities both in rural and urban settings with relevant information on the disease.

TB screening in prisons, finding and treating missing patients, engaging the communities through different communication methodologies and house-to-house screening are some of the interventions NTP has intensified to eliminate TB in Malawi, said Nindi.

She said prisons in Malawi are regarded as TB hot spots due to poor living conditions, as such; NTP started coordinating with prison health services in 1995 to provide equipment, anti-TB drugs, recording and reporting materials among other things.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA