The challenge of dealing with tuberculosis (TB) continues to be Mogoditshane village’s greatest concern despite the country’s significant efforts geared towards fighting the disease.
Statistics from greater Gaborone DHMT show that being the most populated area, Mogoditshane is overwhelmed with TB cases. TB remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality and is the most opportunistic infection among people living with HIV.
Speaking at a TB awareness campaign that was held at Nkoyaphiri location in Mogoditshane on Friday, the deputy district commissioner Sekgabo Makgosa said TB, being an airborne disease can be deadly if not treated well in time.
She said TB statistics in greater Gaborone show that TB affected 891 people in the year 2016 with Mogoditshane registering 271 cases. She said globally men are at high risk of contracting and dying from TB than women.
She called on residents to test for TB and challenged TB patients to adhere to their medication until they finish their treatment as prescribed.
“With numerous interventions geared towards fighting TB in the country, I can confidently tell you that the government is committed to curbing TB hence (I am) pleading with you to take the responsibility of your health and make sure that you take your treatment as prescribed,” Makgosa said. She called on residents to make concerted efforts to fight TB to be reflected in their everyday lives and make sure that they take part in making sure that Botswana becomes a TB-free country.
She said that in responding to TB, infected patients who were unable to visit health facilities, the ministry of health and wellness through the national TB programme formed community TB care to bring TB services closer to the people. “Through this programme TB patients are being followed either at school, the workplace or at home and are given support towards curbing the
Low cure rate has in the past attributed to a significant number of patients who were defaulting treatment hence following them at home reflected as admirable measure. I call upon everyone to take an active role in the fight against TB,” she said.
She said community TB care was also meant to enhance community involvement in the control of the disease but doing it the proper way especially with an airborne disease that can be transmitted from patient to another through coughing.
Makgosa stated that most of the people who are infected with HIV die due to TB as the speedy growth of the TB epidemic is closely associated with HIV infection. She pointed out that HIV lowers the immune system as a result active TB easily develops among some people who are HIV positive.
For her part, TB coordinator for greater Gaborone DHMT, Cynthia Caiphus said as a result of their lifestyle and staying in a more populated area like Mogoditshane it is likely that such individual could highly be infected with TB.
“Most of the residents here have migrated from their home villages to look for job opportunities in Gaborone and have considered to look for accommodation here looking at the location’s low accommodation rentals.
Some people go to an extent of occupying a room with high numbers making it easier for the virus to be transmitted easily if one of them could be infected by TB,” Caiphus said.
She called on residents to visit health facilities on a regular basis and test for TB and make sure that they take their treatment accordingly. Makgosa vowed to visit different locations in Mogoditshane to sensitise residents about TB.