THE Stop TB Partnership Zimbabwe has commended government for coming up with a specialized drug dispension protocol which allows Tuberculois (TB) patients are given 1-2 months supply of drugs for intensive and continuation phase respectively.
By Michael Gwarisa
In a statement, Stop TB Partnership Zimbabwe said the lockdown which took effect on 30 March 2020 was a welcome development in the fight against of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are also thankful to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for developing new drug dispensing protocol for TB medicines to ensure TB patients are given 1-2 months supply for intensive and continuation phase respectively. This move will help to reduce the frequency of patients visiting health facilities.
“We therefore advise all people on TB treatment including those taking TB Preventive Therapy to visit their nearest health facilities to collect their medicines. Furthermore, we call upon all our partners to ensure communities are aware that TB services at all health facilities remain uninterrupted during this National lockdown period.”
They added that It was critical to ensure household and community support systems for people with TB are well strengthened and functioning.
“We encourage people on TB treatment to take extra caution and follow the prevention guidelines as shared by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Child Care which include: Good personal hygiene , Frequent washing of hands with soap ,Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth ,Coughing into your elbow ,Social distancing and staying at home People illwithCOVID-19andTB shows similar symptoms such as Cough, fever and difficulty breathing.”
According to the Stop TB Zimbabwe, both diseases also attack primarily the lungs therefore if one is to experience any of these symptoms they quickly visit your nearest health facility for screening.
“We also here by express the importance of ensuring all people presenting symptoms but who test negative for Covid-19 are further investigated for TB.
“As Stop TB Partnership Zimbabwe we continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care through the National TB Program (NTP) and World Health Organisation (WHO-Zimbabwe) to monitor the situation and ensure quality TB services remain accessible to all.”