TB screening done for survey

2018-06-06 06:01
A group of reseachers led by the National Department of Health, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the Human Science Research Council (HSRC), the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and partners hosting a TB prevalence survey at Homevalley in Kimberley.Photo: Boipelo Mere

A group of reseachers led by the National Department of Health, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the Human Science Research Council (HSRC), the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and partners hosting a TB prevalence survey at Homevalley in Kimberley.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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Rumours that a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak was recently recorded in Homevalley, Kimberley, have been cleared.

Clarity was given that the health tent set up in the area on Thursday, 24 May, near Tips was merely a health prevalence survey on TB.

A study was conducted by a group of reseachers led by the National Department of Health, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the Human Science Research Council (HSRC), the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and partners.

Kimberlites will be part of the 55 000 South Africans participating in the survey for over a year, which will help improve the prevention and control programme in order to provide better health services.

The team did not get referrals of any kind as to which household to identify for the survey.

Several households were approached, which had to visit the site for an overall screening process.

Throughout five days, eligible members had to attend an information session, where they gave written consent to go through the process, and be referred to their nearest clinic for proper treatment.

According to team leader Lungelo Mhlangeni, the individuals went through an interview session on the signs and symptoms of TB, and then went for X-ray screenings.

“If the medical officer detects something on the X-ray scans, they are referred to the clinic combi, where they are urged to give their sputum,” he explained.

He said they sent sputum to Pretoria on a daily basis for tests and when the sample tested positive, the nearest clinic was contacted for treatment to be started immediately.

“We also advise on HIV testing where we see a need, especially if the patient tested positive for TB.”

Homevale resident Aziz Filander welcomed the intervention, especially in his area, because it could encourage people to start taking TB screening seriously.

Although it was not open to everyone, he said the curiosity would grow if someone felt left out of the of the screening.

“This is good, because we are not motivated to go to clinics due to poor service,” said Filander.

“I wish my community could take TB seriously and go for regular screenings in order to know their status.”

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