24 November 2017
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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 14:28

Prisoners urged to go for early TB screening

Written by  Steve Chirombo

Muula speaking during theTB awareness campaign at Chikwawa PrisonPic by Steve Chirombo MANA

CHIKWAWA, November 14, 2017: The Story Workshop, a Media Non Governmental Organization (NGO) that aims at promoting social change is conducting sensitization activities in prisons meant to assist inmates observe signs of Tuberculosis so that they seek early treatment.

Speaking on Monday at Chikwawa Prison, Story Workshop Project Officer, Ruth Muula Hara, said there is need for prison officials to be alert and encourage inmates to go for TB testing.

She said prisons are places where many people come together hence making them prone to diseases such as TB which is airborne.

The Project Officer highlighted some of the symptoms of TB as being the long duration one would cough, night sweating and weight loss.

“We thought of visiting Chikwawa Prison today as one way of extending our outreach services on TB awareness campaigns and we are proud that the inmates here have received the messages quite well and they were happy and have promised to notify their officials once they observe some signs of TB,” she said.

Muula added that the aim of the awareness campaigns that are done with support from the Global Fund through Action Aid was to mobilize communities in order to complement government’s efforts in eradicating TB in the country.

“As Story Workshop, we have trained drama groups and theatre for development groups that help us in disseminating these TB messages. It is possible to eradicate TB through concerted efforts thus from NGOs, government, community leaders as well as the communities themselves,” said Muula.

On her part, Chikwawa Prison, Station Officer, Emily Banda thanked Story Workshop for organizing the outreach activity which she described as a powerful tool in disseminating TB messages.

She called on the Chikwawa District Health Office to ensure that some medical personnel visit the prison at least twice a week to check on the condition of prisoners since it was very difficult to take prisoners in groups to the health facility.
According to Banda, Chikwawa Prison which has about 500 prisoners has three inmates who are currently on TB treatment and were separated from the rest in order to prevent any further spread of the disease.

Commenting on the matter, Chikwawa District Health Office Spokesperson, Settie Piriminta, urged the prisoners to seek early medical assistance but also adhere to treatment procedures once they test positive for TB.

Piriminta said the district health office is available whenever the prison facility needs their help promising a continuous cordial working relationship between the two institutions.

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