Ray Bande Senior Reporter
THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has roped in 40 traditional and faith healers in Chipinge and trained them on basic monitoring and referring presumptive TB cases as part of multifaceted initiatives to increase awareness and fight against the disease.
TB coordinator for Chipinge, Mr Michael Mponda told The Manica Post on the sidelines of a media tour of TB programming activities in Manicaland that 20 traditional healers and 20 faith healers had undergone training in monitoring presumptive TB cases and can refer patients to medical institutions for treatment.
“We had 20 traditional healers and 20 faith healers whom we have trained on the basic skills to monitor TB cases so that they can refer cases to medical institutions for treatment.
“This is a sensitisation effort being made to increase awareness on TB since we discovered that people have very little knowledge about the disease. We wanted them to appreciate the difference between TB and other diseases.
“We are happy that the induction was successful and we hope to have more undergoing the same training. We are aware that many people turn to them (traditional and faith healers) when they are not feeling well, hence the need to educate them on the signs and symptoms of the disease to enable them to refer patients with the disease for early treatment,” said Mr Mponda.
Overcrowding and squalid conditions were cited as some of the major drivers of TB in the Checheche area of Chipinge South.
“In Chipinge South we have quite a number of people that go to South Africa for different types of jobs.
‘‘Some of them leave the country while on treatment and they overstay in South Africa and therefore default on treatment. Upon return their condition would have deteriorated.
“We also have a number of people who own fields in Mozambique and when the farming season is over they come back here. The same goes for artisanal gold and diamond miners who leave this area and flock to Chimanimani and Chiadzwa. This scenario creates overcrowding in most of the areas around,” he said.