ActionAid Malawi through its Joint TB/HIV Global Fund Programme participated in the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health, which took place at The World Forum in The Hague, The Netherlands, from 24-27 October 2018. ActionAid Malawi participated as one of the organizations implementing Community Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention and Care interventions with the main aim of improving case finding and treatment outcomes.
Apart from attending workshops and post-graduate courses, ActionAid Malawi delegates also exhibited activities the organization is implementing through the Tuberculosis (TB) Module, which is one of the seven modules under the ActionAid Malawi Joint TB/HIV Global Fund Programme.
“ActionAid Malawi showcased how it is implementing a community TB programme together with the Ministry of Health through the National Tuberculosis Control Program, the successes registered and the solutions to the challenges the programme is facing. Apart from exhibiting, this forum was very beneficial as we were also learning how other countries are implementing similar programmes and their solutions to challenges that are similar to ours,” said Dalitso Kuphanga, ActionAid Joint TB/HIV Global Fund Manager.
Through the TB Programme, ActionAid Malawi has managed to establish 1,380 community sputum collection points (CSCPs) where 13,800 CSCP volunteers have been trained on how they can collect quality sputum and refer TB presumptive to the nearest health facility. These volunteers are also trained on how they can protect themselves from being infected with the disease and are supported with enablers to protect themselves but also to aid their work. In the two and half years of implementation of the TB Programme, January 2016- June 2018, ActionAid has referred more than 21,000 presumptive TB cases to the health facilities through the community volunteers.
“I would like to thank the Ministry of Health and all our partners in the TB sector, including Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), our Sub Recipient for the TB Module, but most importantly the community volunteers across the country for all the support we get. The success registered would have not been possible without their help. It is our sincere hope that we continue working together towards eliminating TB in Malawi,” continued Mr. Kuphanga.
ActionAid Malawi is currently implementing a second phase of the Joint TB/HIV Global Fund Programme that is being funded by the Global Fund, from January 2018 to December 2020. The modules under this programme include: Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW), Resilience and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH), Comprehensive Programs for People in Prisons and other Closed Settings: Prevention Programs for the General Population, Prevention Programs for Female Sex Workers and their Clients (FSW), Prevention Programmes for Men having Sex with Men (MSM), and TB.
The 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health conference was going under the theme , which highlights that eliminating tuberculosis (TB) and achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals requires a coordinated public health response driven by the human rights of each individual.
The Union World Conference on Lung Health is the world’s largest gathering of clinicians and public health workers, health programme managers, policymakers, researchers and advocates working to end the suffering caused by lung disease, with a focus specifically on the challenges faced by low-and lower-middle income populations.