More than 48,000 people in high-risk communities, including miners, were screened for TB, HIV and diabetes as part of a Union-led active screening campaign in 15 districts in Zimbabwe. The campaign targets mining groups, who have some of the highest incidences of TB in the world, as well as people living with HIV and diabetes.
Screening took place from March to December 2017 and resulted in the diagnosis of 882 people with active TB who were then connected with appropriate treatment. In that same group, screening led to 25,920 people tested for HIV (of whom 1,002 tested positive) and 3,869 showed at least two symptoms of diabetes and were given a blood glucose test (of whom 537 were referred for treatment).
The project works with traditional community leaders including chiefs, headmen, councillors and religious leaders to inform them about TB. The community leaders learn about signs and symptoms, treatment and stigma and support the efforts by educating their communities and encouraging open dialogue.
Leaders have committed to support the targeted screening campaign by encouraging members of their communities to take advantage of the services provided, which include chest X-rays, medical check-ups, HIV testing and diabetes screening, as well as informative workshops and meetings.
These activities are part of Challenge TB in Zimbabwe, USAID’s flagship TB programme. The programme will be expanded to an additional 21 districts in 2018.