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Health Desk of Karonga Diocese Improves Access to Medical Care for People Suffering from TB in Karonga and Chitipa

By Deodatus Muriya (Monitoring and Evaluation Desk Officer)

The Health Desk of Karonga has improved access to medical care for people suffering from chronic cough through the work of volunteers who encourage people to within their catchment area to get diagnosed for Tuberculosis (TB), start treatment immediately if found TB positive and following up patients on treatment.

This was disclosed at the biannual review of TB Project organized by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi Health Desk. The Karonga Diocese Health Desk Officer, Mr. Vincent Shaba said through TB project, communities have been assisted to be aware of TB infection and also reduce stigma.

“The project has helped to clear out misconceptions. For instance, people in the community believe that if have TB, then you are automatically HIV positive. They also believe that HIV can be tested in sputum hence fear to submit sputum.” Said Mr. Shaba.

According to Gilbert Banda, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for ECM, the aim of the biannual review meeting is to assess the financial and programmatic progress of the project. He further said that this biannual review has given implementing agencies an opportunity to review the overall grant performance being the final month on the current project.

The Review meeting, which was held at Red Zebra in Salima from 18th to 21st December, 2017, gave an opportunity to implementing partners to share experiences, challenges encountered ways of mitigating them, lessons learned and best ways for improving the implementation of the project activities.

The Episcopal conference of Malawi (ECM) Health Department is implementing a TB Project in Karonga and Mzuzu Dioceses and Lilongwe Archdiocese with funding from Action Aid. The project is being implemented in Karonga, Chitipa, Likoma, Mzimba, Nkhatabay, Rumphi, Ntchisi, Dowa, Kasungu and Lilongwe Districts with the National Office coordinating.