The department of health and sanitation in Marakwet West and East sub counties is training community health extension workers and community health workers to identify Tuberculosis [TB] defaulters and trace them for treatment so as to combat its spread and prevent resistance to first line treatment.
With facilitation from AIC Mission hospital 50 community health workers and 10 extension officers/ public health officers are being taught on how to detect defaulters /those who discontinue treatment and assist in taking them to health facilities for treatment and management.
Through community units that are already formed within the community and villages, the community health workers are mandated to ensure public education on hygiene disease prevention and basic treatment of prevalent diseases.
As motivation, the workers who are tracing TB patients in the community are given a token of Sh1500 for identifying and taking a patient for treatment.
When they are successful in bringing persons who are in contact with the patient such as children, spouses or relatives they will receive Sh700.
According to Marakwet West Sub County Public Health Administrator Patrick Maiyo, the workers will assist in educating the affected household on proper nutrition, ventilation and avoidance of overcrowding and steps to follow to contain or avoid getting the disease.
He added that it is more expensive to treat patients who are resistant to the TB drugs and more resources are required to contain the disease.
He noted that stakeholders in the sub county hospital management team and boards of management of health facilities will also be trained on measures to be undertaken while health providers are trained and taught how to handle cases referred to them.
By Rennish Okong’o