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Salima DHO Impressed With Number of People Submitting Sputum for TB Testing

21st November, 2017

Salima District Hospital has registered an increase of people submitting sputum for TB testing this year thanks to drama clubs which are conducting Theatre for Development mobilising communities to submit sputum once they feel signs and symptoms of TB.

According to Salima Hospital Health Promotions Officer, Angella Sakwata, TfD performances which are being conducted by drama clubs in the district are creating demand among the communities such that those with TB signs and symptoms are taking action and submitting their sputum for testing.

Sakwata said the outreach activities are a good way of bringing awareness among the communities especially on signs and symptoms of TB which most people in the communities are ignorant.

“Most communities have been made aware of the signs and symptoms of TB in the communities and many are able to differentiate TB from HIV/AIDS due to the sensitization campaign the youth are conducting through TfD as such the hospital has received a good response on people submitting their sputum”, said Sakwata.

The TB officer for the hospital William Kaunda also reiterated similar sentiments saying sputum collecting points across the district have also registered an increase in presumptive cases courtesy of the outreach activities through drama clubs.

“Our office has linked the sputum collecting points with the youth clubs so that when they are conducting the performances they should be making reference to where people can submit their sputum hence the communities have direction of where they can submit their sputum for TB testing”, said Kaunda.

One of the chiefs, Village headman Kalowa of GVH Chamtika in TA Ndindi said the sensitization campaign through the drama clubs has helped to clear myths and misunderstandings related to TB hence many communities submitting sputum for testing.

“The drama clubs are making us understand TB. Many people were failing to differentiate TB and HIV/AIDS and they thought TB has no cure but with the messages we are getting through drama, our minds have opened up and communities are willing to be treated once they found that they have TB”, he said.

Alice Jailosi, chairperson for Makiyoni drama group in Salima concurred with the village headman saying communities are embracing the key messages on TB and are seeking necessary attention whenever is required.

“The communities’ view on TB and HIV AIDS is not the same. This time they have clear understanding between the two and are able to differentiate and seek medical attention when ever need arises. Our performances, through the HSAs who accompany us, clarify on these issues hence reaching the hearts of the communities”, she said.

Story workshop is targeting 1.3 million people with TB key messages by December and through the drama clubs, there is clear evidence that they are making a good progress. The project which is being implemented in all the districts in Malawi is being funded by Action Aid through Project Hope.

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