Easter Equatoria State, News

Eastern Equatoria grapples with TB

By Ijoo Bosco

Eastern Equatoria State health authorities are facing challenges in treating an increasing number of Tuberculosis (TB) patients in Torit town, the state capital.

The Department of Tuberculosis at Torit Civil Hospital said there is a lack of major basic admission wards and necessary services for sick TB patients.

Mr. John Odiongo Ronald, the Torit County TB Supervisor at Torit Civil Hospital, said most of the sick patients are now withdrawing from the hospital other than attending medical care at the main units.

Mr. Odongo underlined that support from key health partner organizations supporting the state hospital is very limited, forcing the admitted patients to seek out other alternatives from their poor relatives.

He stressed that there is a lack of space and some protein food to help support the very sick and malnourished TB patients at the state hospital.

The support for the Peace and Education Development Programme (SPEDP) national NGO and the Ministry of Health called for immediate intervention by partners’ donor organizations to help construct a shelter to cater to the needs of the people suffering from TB.

The appeal came during a one-day dissemination workshop for the findings of community-led monitoring of TB and malaria in Torit County.

John Odiongo said the Torit State Hospital has plenty of drugs to treat the patients, but they are being faced with a lack of wards and other items meant to motivate the sick patients from losing hope of survival.

Undisclosed numbers of people have been confirmed positive for the airborne disease and are undergoing treatment at Torit State Hospital.

Odiongo, however, noted that there are still more TB cases within the community that are unreported. He added that as health personnel in the field, they are trying to convince those who haven’t reported to the hospital to go for medication.

“We have deployed a number of our health volunteers’ teams on the ground to screen people who are suspected of having tuberculosis,” he said.

The community-led monitoring project coordinator, Cocor Bosco Andrew, stated that based on the assessment they did, many people in the town can easily contract the airborne disease (TB) given the nature of congestion, especially in football halls.

He added that a person with active pulmonary TB disease can easily contaminate the air more people breathe in their surroundings as they are always together.

TB is an airborne disease that can be passed on to another person through droplets from coughing, sneezing, sharing cups, and sleeping with an infected person in a room without ventilation, amongst others.

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