Each year, we commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
In Simanjiro District, the 2021 World TB Day was commemorated in Mirelani Mines and surroundings communities. The theme for World TB Day 2021 was “Muda wa kufikia malengo ya kutokomeza Kifua Kikuu ni 2022. Tuongeze kasi muda umekaribia meaning The Clock is Ticking to reach the 2022 TB targets”. It highlighted the urgency for intensifying the efforts for ending TB by an inclusive approach involving the political leadership, parliamentarians, community leaders, TB survivors, healthcare professionals, workers, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders.
The World TB Day 2021 in Simanijiro was organised by the office of the Simajiro District Medical Officer (DMO) in collaboration with Tanzania TB Community Network, EANNASO, TB Survivor Network (MKUTA Simanjiro) with finacial support from the Stop TB Partnership. Awareness and screening activities were conducted in mines such as Opeck, Block D, Soko la Getini, Main Gate of the Mirerani wall and in communities surrounding the mines including families of miners.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS AND RESULTS
- TB awareness and mass screening was conducted in Mirerani from 18th – 24th March 2021 where more than 1,186 people, 6 miners’ households and 15 mines were reached.
- 352 samples for TB presumptive were transported to Mirerani Health Center and 320 tested for TB.
- Total 13 ( 12 Men and 1 Womean) people contacts including 2 close cwere diagnised with TB and started treatment. Contact tracing was conducted among 87 families and close contacts of miners diagnised TB.
- 312 people were tested for HIV and 2 were found HIV positive ( 1 Man and 1 Woman).
- Lack of tools to provide education on TB (leaflets, posters, etc.).
- Transport infrastructure to reach all target audience, especially in mining areas.
- Some miners feel reluctant to get screened or tested.
- Limited cooperation by some mines.
- Office of the DMO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and various Stakeholders to prepare and print tools in advance;
- Sustainable education in the community and small-scale miners related to HIV and TB and AIDS.
- Office of the DMO in collaboration with various Health Stakeholders should stratigise to ensure suitanability of TB Clubs in active case findings in mining areas.
- Need for improved communication between mine owners and the office District Exective Director on the importance of conducting TB screening in the Mines.
- EANNASO and TTCN to assit in priting of all education tools for Simanjiro once they are ready.
- The DMO office is to organise stakeholder meeting invloving mine owners, CSOs, governmnt to discuss TB amongst other issues.
- In future world TB events, the DMO office will provide vehicle to ease movements.
- DMO to advocate for increased council budget allocation to TB activities espcially to mass screening activities.