With PEPFAR and CDC Support, CIDRZ working towards strengthening TB management in Zambia

Photos: Dr Natalie Vlahakis, CIDRZ Clinical Care Specialist;
Outpatients registering for TB screening in Kanyama, Lusaka

CIDRZ, with the support of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief (PEPFAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnership, has been implementing the ‘Scaling-Up TB prevention, screening, diagnosis and care programme by rolling out the WHO 3″I’s strategy in 154 sites in Western, Eastern, Lusaka and Southern Provinces. This strategy entails Intensified TB Case Finding (ICF), provision of Isoniazid Preventative Therapy and TB Infection Control in HIV settings.

To achieve all this, with PEPFAR funding, CIDRZ has this year alone, procured two GeneXpert machines, facilitated installation of five other machines and is maintaining 15 GeneXpert machines in 4 provinces. We are also supporting 3 digital chest x-ray machines in Lusaka. Additionally, CIDRZ is engaged in TB/HIV service provision and linkages: over 352 healthcare workers and 182 Peer Educators have been trained in TB/HIV service provision,” says Dr Natalie Vlahakis, CIDRZ Clinical Care Specialist during the commemoration of this year’s World TB Day commemorated under the Global Theme: Unite to End TB.

CIDRZ programmes are Inclusive 

Since 2010, the CIDRZ TB department has worked closely with Zambia Correctional Services to support entry and exit screening for TB and HIV in prison inmates and remandees, implement the 3’I’s and to provide TB and HIV prevention, care and treatment services in prisons,” Dr Vlahakis added.

CIDRZ also works with the National TB programme in the revision of TB guidelines, manuals and recording tools to strengthen the healthcare interventions against the disease.

Gracing the WTB Day event, Chongwe Mayor, His Lordship Geoffrey Chumbwe said “TB remains a major public health problem hence the World TB Day Commemoration provides a big opportunity to make all Zambians aware about the causes and precautions of TB.”

As a lead up to this WTB Day, CIDRZ provided screening services for inmates at the Lusaka Correctional Facility, as well outpatients at the Kanyama First Level Hospital in Lusaka.

2013-2014 estimates indicate that for every 100,000 Zambians, 455 have TB. The vast majority of TB is curable if found and treated.

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