Malawi to engage traditional healers, pharmacies in detecting TB cases

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-08 17:32:41|Editor: xuxin
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LILONGWE, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Malawi will engage traditional healers, drug dispensaries and pharmacies to screen clients for signs of TB to increase detection of the disease, health authorities have disclosed.

The project will be implemented by Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Malawi in two of the country's districts of Lilongwe and Mangochi with funds of up to 400,000 U.S. dollars.

CHAI project officer, Yuweni Chipatala, told journalists Friday when he briefed authorities in the lakeshore district of Mangochi that the project would identify and engage up to 300 traditional healers, drug dispensaries and pharmacies in the targeted districts.

The identified structures would then be trained to improve TB screening and do referrals to recommended clinics for treatment.

"The two targeted districts contribute about 21 percent of the national population and they accounted for 28 percent of TB notifications recorded in 2017," explained Chipatala.

TB remains a persistent challenge in Malawi, where less than 60 percent of all new cases are identified and treated while deaths from the disease is estimated at 9,000 each year.

In 2016, 29,000 new cases of TB were estimated but only 54 percent of the cases were identified and linked to treatment, according to the CHAI project officer.