IOM SUPPORTED THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH TO CONDUCT OUTREACH ACTIVITIES INCLUDING TB AWARENESS AND SCREENING CAMPAIGNS ON WORLD TB DAY
International Organization for Migration (lOM) in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) through the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Tanzania AIDS Commission (TACAIDS), and Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) conducted a joint activity to commemorate the World TB day. The activity was held on the 4th and 5th April 2017 in Makongolosi and Matundasi mining areas in Chunya District, Mbeya region.
Makongolosi and Matundasi hotspots are among the mining areas in Tanzania with highest TB burden, due to various factors including exposure to silica and dust, poor working and living conditions, lack of TB prevention and education services and a huge sex industry around mining sites which expose mineworkers and their families to HIV infection.
The intervention among other things aimed to raise awareness on HIV and TB prevention and increase HIV and TB case detection through case finding in the community and implement provider-initiated screening in health facilities among mineworkers, ex-mineworkers, families and communities around the in Makongolosi and Matundasi mining areas. The initiative is also in line with the 2012 SADC Declaration, which reaffirms member states’ commitment to 1) eradicating HIV, TB, silicosis and other respiratory illnesses in the region and 2) the improvement of practices and standards of environmental, health and safety in the mining sector)
IOM and its partners provided health services including mass TB screening and HIV testing and Counselling (HTC) services to mineworkers, ex-mineworkers, families and communities around the mines. The service delivery was preceded by demand creation campaigns and community mobilization activities conducted by the community health care workers, community leaders, art/cultural groups and mineworkers themselves in Makongolosi, Matundasi and Itumbi hotspots.
The intervention reached over 15,000 thousands mineworkers, ex-mineworkers, families and communities around the mines with messages and information on TB, HIV and STIs. A total of 560 individuals (305 Males & 255 Females) were screened for TB and sputum collected from 51 suspected cases of which 3 were diagnosed with Tuberculosis using microscopy and were referred to TB care services. A total of 560 individuals (305 Males & 255 Females) received HIV testing and counselling. Out of 560 individuals, 26 tested positive for HIV (8 Males & 18 Females). All HIV positive cases were referred to the district hospital for further care and treatment services. All data were captured using the existing district health information system
To ensure the continuum of care, IOM and its partners engaged and supported the regional and district health management teams including service providers from Makongolosi and Matundasi dispensaries to continue providing HIV testing and counselling as well TB screening and referral for HIV and TB care services.
IOM and its partners plan to further engage the regional and district health management teams to scale up TB screening and HIV testing and Counselling (HTC) services in the mining areas in Chunya District. The partnership will support the District council to mainstream and scale up TB screening and HIV testing campaigns in the Council Comprehensive Health Plan (CCHP) and budget.