TB and HIV still a challenge in Opuwo

22 Apr 2016 15:40pm
OTJERUNDA, 22 APR (NAMPA) – Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV remain a burden in Opuwo, Fungai Chamisa, tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy coordinator in the Opuwo District says.
She said this during the belated commemoration of World TB Day at Otjerunda village, 25 kilometres south of Opuwo in the Kunene Region, on Thursday.
Chamisa said 26 TB patients were registered in the district this year of which 10 were found to be HIV-positive.
From January to December last year, 138 TB patients were registered of which 80 were male and the remaining 58, female.
Only 78 per cent of the patients completed their treatment, while 13 per cent died whilst on treatment and eight per cent defaulted on their treatment.
The Opuwo District is aiming for zero TB infections, with an initial target of 95 per cent target.
Chamisa said the biggest challenge faced in the control of TB is patients absconding from the hospital to seek treatment from traditional healers, while report to clinics or the hospital late for treatment.
He urged community leaders to help educate the community on TB and to encourage them to seek treatment earlier, as well as to discourage them from leaving the hospital and to adhere to their medication.
Baby Karunga told the audience that her five-year-old daughter, Tjiveze Urijama was diagnosed with TB last year.
“Her neck was swollen and she was operated on by a team of doctors headed by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Hausiku in November last year. Karunga said she adhered to the treatment rules and her daughter has been cured of TB.
“TB is curable, please adhere to the treatment and do not abscond,” she urged.
Another TB patient who spoke at the event was Magreth Routh, a cleaner at the nurses’ home in Opuwo.
“It is a shame to die of a disease that can be cured,” she said.
Routh said this is her last month of treatment and urged TB patients to visit their nearest clinic or health centre as TB is not the threat it used to be in the past.
World TB Day is commemorated on 24 March every year to raise awareness of the fact that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in much of the world.