TB Advocates Demand for TB Counselors in Health Facilities

Anthony Aisi conducting an interview

By Anthony Aisi – Nairobi March 22nd 2012 –  – Tuberculosis advocates from all over the country converged in Nairobi to address problems facing TB patients in the communities.

Legend and myths abide about the origin of Tb much as it has been with mankind since time in memorial, it is a mystery beyond imagination and remains elusive as the name TB is. However we can’t efface the fact that is still a threat to humanity. Whether it originated from man to animals or vice versa or from common ancestor and infected different species has never been certain or so to say.
Over the years the disease has not been taken with serious concern especially in Kenya since we still have loopholes in our health facilities and patients’ welfare. Cases have emerged regarding negligence of the government to put in place facilities that is strictly for TB patients called isolation rooms in our health facilities, failure of this has resulted to congestion of patients in rooms hence spread still rampant in the facilities thus risk still on the rise.
The group addressed a major concern in the facilities which has never been put in consideration, employment of TB counselors, this will reduce stigma, boost awareness in information, efface myths and beliefs and answer all queries the patient can have. This move will also reduce defaulters increase since there will be counseling and follow-up on medication through the prescribed period by a professional.
Luceta Gatimba, a former teacher from Meru County discontinued her profession because of TB since she can’t go through heavy task of dust in class and weather factor, her body is still recovering though she is out of danger of TB.
Luceta started diagnosis in July 2004 when she got infected; she has undergone many struggles to fight the disease though it kept on relapsing due to poor time management in her medication through the required period which is a big challenge even to other patients as there are no supporters to guide them.
She was a multi drug-resistant TB patient(MDR-TB), this is a strain that is resistant to at least two of the best anti-TB drugs called isoniazid and rifampicin and in luceta’s case it was because of failure to follow timing in medication which was not explained effectively while in the facility which is a big loophole in our health facilities
“ As we mark world TB day in few days to come, I urge the government to  consider deeply the plight of TB patients by purchasing more testing machines and distribute to health facilities countrywide, counselors too should be recruited to ease the stigma, should also distribute drugs to every facility. More attention and seriousness should also be put to TB patients as it is in HIV/AIDS because they intermarry.” Luceta said in an interview.
“The fight against TB and the desire for a TB free world should be a partnership among all and be treated like a three legged stool or the African fire place which constituted of three stones where in the absence of one, the others are useless.
This collaboration should apply to the medics, patients, communities and health care partners in the elimination of TB especially in developing or less developed countries” said Emily Mukomenene, publisher of TB facts book.

The two days TB advocates training was organized by Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) brought different health experts and advocates to amend the loopholes being experience in the health facilities, by patients from ground to national level and finding solutions for a better living community free of TB.

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2 Responses

  1. hi we need to create awareness on issues surrounding our people and be their mouthpiece for a better tomorrow free from disease that are curable
    Anthony Aisi

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