TB awareness draws the crowds

2017-03-23 06:03
A Mfuleni resident is taught how to properly wash their hands during the TB Awereness event.                                                       PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

A Mfuleni resident is taught how to properly wash their hands during the TB Awereness event. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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In a bid to highlight the spectre of tuberculosis in local communities, Afrika Tikkum held an awareness campaign in Mfuleni.

On Thursday the organisation, working together with the Dr Ivan Toms Clinic, conducted tests, gave advice sessions and handed condoms.

According to the organisation’s Yvonne Arendse, there needs to be more education about communicable diseases such as TB in the communities.

“TB is a big problem in this community as it is in the rest of the province, therefore, there needs to be more awareness around it. There is still a lot of stigma as it very often linked to HIV/AIDS and this leads to people either not getting tested or failing to complete their medication,” said Arendse.

She said that on the day, the locals were given important information regarding the diseases, including other sicknesses that affect them.

“TB is curable, but we still have a lot of people that default on the medication which makes it very hard to fight the disease. Today we are teaching about not only to check the symptoms but preventative measures such as properly washing hands,” she said.

Afrika Tikkum is an early childhood development organisation whose activities extend to home based medical care in communities.

On the day more than 300 people were expected to visit the programme with the organisation hoping to do more awareness programs.

Dr Ivan Toms Clinic’s manager Marcelle Segels, encouraged locals to test as early as possible to detect TB sooner rather than later.

“When most people get signs of a fever they go to the doctor and it goes away within a week. If it doesn’t go away for three weeks you should get tested for TB. However because of the stigma, not enough people start testing early,” said Segels.

She said that people should look out for symptoms such as long fever, coughing blood and sweat. She said that members of the community must also take a proactive step in fighting diseases.

“When there are activities like this in the community people must come in and get the information and encourage each other,” she added.

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