The idea of the project is to reduce the burden of HIV and TB by addressing stigma and discrimination through raising awareness and improving diagnosis and treatment services. TC- TB program is a systematic approach aimed at mobilising and empowering communities to take control of HIV and TB.HIV and TB is closely related. The TB/HIV co-infection rate in Zimbabwe is at 72% and most of TB deaths are people living with HIV. The goal is to reduce the rate of new infections for HIV and TB and to provide appropriate packages of treatment, care and support to HIV and TB infected people and their families. The objective is to increase HIV and TB case finding and linkages to care at community and facility level. It is in line with the Government’s new guidelines for TB, which is “To increase the case detection rate from 72% in 2014 to 85% case detection rate by 2020” and “To increase treatment success rate for all forms of tuberculosis from 81% in 2014 to 90% by 2020.” The approach is to reach out to the most affected parts of the population in Makoni District.
DAPP Zimbabwe started the implementation of the HIV and TB integrated program in Makoni in January 2017. After the inception of the project in the district the team started on a weak note with low identification of TB cases, having achieved half of the target in October 2017 owing to various challenges. Training needs were identified and that led to 5 training workshops for volunteers and DAPP staff between October 2017 and September 2018. Training was offered by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, DAPP and TB Alert. Training covered proper sputum collection, screening and improved community based targeted screening. After each training, change was noted with increased identification of both TB positive and DR TB cases. In dealing with the increase in service demand which was overwhelming the district laboratory through increased sputum submission, TC TB Makoni purchased and handed over a four module GeneXpert machine thus doubling tests per day from 16 to 32. A good collaboration has been established with the District Department of Health, who wishes to see us continue the program and reach out to the whole Makoni district.The District Medical Office has been impressed with increase in demand creation and the support offered by the project in dealing with the increased demand for sputum testing and the burden of TB and HIV Burden through creation os support structures through support groups and trios.