My name is Syprain Muzenya and I am a Field Officer working with TC-TB integrated program covering the Urban area of Makoni District .
Through the TB program, I found that actively supporting people who test positive for Tuberculosis goes a long way in ensuring that after they are initiated on treatment they adhere to it as prescribed by the doctor.
As a Field Officer, I engage trained community volunteers in that respective to spearhead the formation of a treatment buddy group (TRIO) to support the TB person to adhere to treatment.
The composition of a TRIO can be family members, a neighbor or one or two good friends. Together with the the trained community volunteers, we work side by side with the infected and affected family to stop the spread of TB. We urge family members to get screened for TB as they have direct contact to someone infected.
In order to stop the spread of TB we encourage that :
The house should have adequate ventilation
anyone who coughs should be educated on cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene, and should follow such practices at all times
while smear positive, TB patients should
- –spend as much time as possible outdoors
- –sleep alone in a separate, adequately ventilated room, if possible
- –spend as little time as possible in public gatherings or in public transport.
We also help the families establish vegetable gardens to improve nutrition for the family and patient. This initiative has worked well in my area, since we started the program in the District of Makoni. Since the inception of the program in Vengere, a total of 8 people were detected TB positive and all were initiated on TB treatment. Through TRIO system, 2 clients have successfully completed their treatment and are doing well. 6 people are still on TB treatment and they are being monitored by their TRIO supporters to ensure that they don’t default which can lead to the development of Drug resistant TB.
In other words I can say the establishment of TRIO support system re-enforces TB drug adherence and contributes to World Health Organisation strategy to end TB