UNITED States Agency for International Development, (Usaid) has constructed waiting sheds for tuberculosis patients at four Bulawayo City Council (BCC)-run clinics to improve infection control and boost patients’ comfort.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Latest BCC minutes show that partitioning and refurbishment of the TB rooms at the four clinics that specialise in treatment of the highly-infectious disease was done to improve ventilation.
The TB waiting sheds and refurbishment of the TB rooms was done under Usaid-funded projects in partnership with stakeholders such as the Health ministry.
“The acting director of health services reported that the Health and Child Care ministry, in partnership with the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union,) through funding from Usaid, constructed waiting sheds for TB patients at four clinics, namely Cowdray Park, Princess Margaret Rose, Dr Shennan and Pelandaba to improve on infection control and patient comfort,” the council health, housing and education report read.
The TB bacterium is spread through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Exposure to someone with untreated TB increases the chances of infection.
“The improvements will go a long way towards control of TB transmission among patients and staff,” the minutes added.
Zimbabwe is said to be one of the countries highly burdened by TB due to the HIV epidemic, where HIV prevalence among the 15 to 49-year age group is 15%.
The current estimation of TB prevalence is 345 people per 100 000 and there is also 69% HIV co-infection in all TB cases according to the 2014 global report.
Currently, TB treatment funding is provided by the government, supported by the Global Fund and other partners.