North West province records massive improvement in the fight against tuberculosis (TB)
13 Mar 2011
The fight against tuberculosis (TB) in the North West province continues to record positive outcomes. In the past three years the province has improved integrated care to patients that are co-infected with both TB and HIV from 18% in 2008 to an impressive 38% in 2010.
The province’s treatment outcome also improved from 40,3% to 63,7% (over 20% cure rate) with patients defaulting treatment also showing a decrease from 10, 8% to 8,3%. The Department of Health in the province is continuing with its intensive TB screening in all health facilities and that has proved to be a success already because TB detection has improved from 27 000 in 2009 to 30 000 in 2010.
The department, with the support from developmental partners has capacitated over 600 Health Care Workers on management of opportunistic infections to ensure reduction of mortalities amongst TB and HIV infected patients. TB accounts for seven percent death in the province. This is an improvement from 8.2% recorded in 2009.
TB infection control is being prioritised in healthcare facilities across the province and ultra violet lights have been installed in health facilities to prevent the spread of TB.
Though the province continues to do well, late reporting of patients to health facilities and patients who continue to default treatment especially in Bojanala still remain a concern. Defaulter rate is a cause for concern since non-compliance to treatment is the major contributing factor to Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB and Extreme Drug Resistant (XDR) TB. Treating MDR/XDR TB is very costly as compared to treating an ordinary TB. This puts a huge strain on the department given the numerous and complex public health challenges it is facing.
The province has 55 MDR in-patients and 419 out-patients with only 8 XDR in-patients. The MDR cure rate in the province currently stands at 65% while XDR is standing at 16.1%. It is imperative that those who are receiving tuberculosis treatment (approximately 30 000 patients) should complete treatment as prescribed by health professionals.
As a build-up towards World TB Day to be commemorated on 24 March 2011 in Tloung village near Mafikeng, the Department is engaging in various public awareness activities in an effort to sensitise the public about the dangers of TB and proper management of the disease. TB Management Directorate together with health promoters, Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) supporters and volunteers will tomorrow (14 March 2011) commence with intensive awareness campaigns at the epidemic’s high risk areas such as taxi ranks, and door to door visits in all four districts.
Enquiries: Tebogo Lekgethwane
Cell: 082 929 9958
Tel: 018 387 5830
Cell: 082 964 8838 or 082 097 4970
Issued by: North West Health
13 Mar 2011
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