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Qacha’s Nek hospital to screen for TB, HIV



QACHA’S NEK– MACHABENG Hospital will this weekend start screening people at the Qacha’s Nek taxi rank for TB and HIV as part of commemorating World TB Day.

The hospital’s TB and HIV coordinator, Mokone Molupe, said it is important to “remind people that TB is still there and it kills”.

He said the campaign is meant to intensify the fight against TB because “much of our time was spent on Covid-19 while we neglected our TB and HIV patients”.

He said the screening campaign at busy places like taxi ranks comes after the government announced that nearly 3 000 TB patients could not be traced since Covid-19 started.

The campaign also comes after Finance Minister Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane said during her budget speech the government will improve the healthcare system to make sure that corrective measures are taken to treat all diseases neglected at the start of Covid-19.

It is part of Operation Hlasela Lefuba (Attack Tuberculosis) which the government launched in November last year with funds from the Global Fund and the World Bank under the project called Southern Africa TB Health System Support (SATBHSS).

Molupe said statistics show that Lesotho is number two on the rate of HIV infections and number one on the rate of new TB infections in the world.

“So TB and HIV are related illnesses because if a person is HIV positive the possibilities of being infected with TB are so high,” he said.

“It is important for people to always screen for both these diseases so that they can be treated as soon as possible. This might help Lesotho reduce the high prevalence rates we have.”

Molupe said commemorating World TB Day will raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of this preventable disease and call for accelerated action to end it.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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