To commemorate World TB Day on the 24th March 2021, teams from the USAID TB LON-SAFT Programme implemented by THINK, organized various events in March and April. The World TB Day theme for this year was “The Clock is Ticking” conveying a reminder that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments made by global leaders to end TB by 2030.
USAID TB LON-SAFT teams in eThekwini district provided TB, HIV, COVID-19 and diabetes screening, testing and other health services in partnership with Health Systems Trust’s mobile clinic at Molweni sports ground. Team members wore T-shirts conveying the theme and shared the message that one should not delay screening and testing for TB, HIV, COVID-19 and diabetes. Group discussions held with the youth highlighted the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own health regarding TB and COVID-19. At a nearby taxi rank, teams distributed TB information leaflets among taxi drivers, commuters and street vendors. People were encouraged to make use of the health services being offered at the sport ground.
At the Doris Goodwin TB Hospital in the uMgungundlovu district the USAID TB LON-SAFT team participated in the official events that provided TB health education and awareness to patients and community members. TB information leaflets, branded water bottles and “The Clock is Ticking #END TB” stickers were handed out to clients and healthcare workers. Due to COVID-19 regulations, TB screening was restricted to the main Edendale Mall and taxi ranks near the hospital with a team conducting a door-to-door campaign to conduct TB screening and to raise TB awareness.
The USAID TB LON-SAFT team in uMgungundlovu also supported the Woodlands clinic in sharing information about the signs and symptoms of TB, the importance of being tested for TB and HIV, infection prevention and control (IPC), providing adequate sputum samples and the importance of adherence to treatment. Highlights from the event included a motivational speech from a former TB patient who shared his experience and TB success story, and the presence of a prominent traditional healer who encouraged the community to visit their clinics for TB screening and testing and to adhere to modern medical treatment before embarking on traditional treatments.