NTP and GFATM formulate New Messages for TB Education
Tuberculosis (TB) is a huge public concern in Sudan. The disease is characterized with public ignorance and high social stigma of TB-patients leading to increased number of TB positive cases. According to the WHO, Sudan alone carries 15% of the TB burden in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. TB is a curable disease however discontinued treatment is very common which leads patients to develop resistance to treatment.
To address TB in Sudan, GFATM Round 5 TB grant includes an operational research component that addresses “Barriers to Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS)”. This component ensures that TB patients take their medication under the observation of a medical personnel or an assigned family member to ensure that patients takes the full course of treatment. Thirty operational researches are scheduled to be completed by the end of this grant, addressing all possible barriers hindering the use of DOTS treatment. Operational researches are conducted in 15 states including conflict zones such as Darfur. GFATM has contributed around USD 300,000 to support this cause.
Similarly, to help reduce TB current prevalence rates, the National TB programme (NTP) has organized a series of raining awareness workshops targeting community volunteers in four states (North Kordofan, White Nile, Sinnar and Gazira States) during November and December 2009. The main objective of the workshop is to raise awareness on TB through the introduction of TB educational messages to pilot groups to ensure the public’s favorable receipt of it.
These messages are to be incorporated into 6 booklets which will then be distributed in 15 states. The booklets will address issues such as prevention, modes of transmission and availability of treatment in addition to rights of TB patients.
Recommendations derived from these workshops will be used to finalize the 6 booklets.