TB Alert funded the Murambinda Mission Hospital Tuberculosis Programme from 2002 until early 2015. Although it has just 120 beds, the hospital is one of only two hospitals serving Buhera District in Zimbabwe’s vast Manicaland Province. The district is home to 200,000 people, the majority of whom earn a meagre living as subsistence farmers.
TB awareness saves lives
People in the Buhera district often have to travel great distances to get medical help. As a result, those with TB symptoms often delay seeking help until they are very ill, which also increases the risk of them passing TB on to others. Many people don’t realise how important it is for them to complete their treatment, and may stop their medication early, increasing the risk of developing drug-resistant TB. That’s why our Murambinda programme used TB training and community outreach to raise awareness of TB.
Local people in action
Murambinda’s TB project helped people to receive and remain on treatment by:
- training local community volunteers, who are known and trusted by their communities, to identify symptoms, refer suspected cases to local clinics and support patients to take their medication
- training and supporting local health workers to develop and manage community outreach activities and to collect and monitor TB data
- strengthening information systems to understand TB in the local area, so that clinics never ran short of drugs and to reestablish treatment for patients that stopped too early.
Murambinda Hospital’s TB Clerk, Emmanuel, uses a motorbike to reach isolated communities as part of his outreach work, supporting TB patients through their treatment. His work changes lives.