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4th Avenue Clinic commemorates World TB Day

World TB Day at 4th Avenue Clinic brings awareness of a global issue.

The 4th Avenue clinic at Alexandra commemorates World TB Day with a special event to raise awareness and educate the public about tuberculosis (TB) which continues to claim lives all over the world.

During the event Department of Health workers promoted the importance of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment for those who are infected by the disease.

Free screening and testing for TB and HIV. Photo: Xoliswa Zakwe

The acting operations manager at the clinic sister Tsheki Dibate shared the importance of completing the full TB treatment course to the community to heal from the disease and also to avoid the spread of the disease.

“Good people TB is infectious but it is curable. Taking the treatment is important because when you have TB you are not a threat to yourself only but to people around you who may not be infected.

The acting operations manager sister Tsheki Dibate explains the importance of visiting the clinic for checkups and the importance of taking the treatment as advised by the nurse. Photo: Xoliswa Zakwe

“Here at the clinic, we have a problem of defaulters because when a person gets sick, she comes to the clinic and we give her the treatment once she feels better after a few days she stops taking the medication.

“Once that person gets sick again she will be afraid to come to the clinic because she did not finish her treatment and what will happen to that person is that she will eventually die.

“We experience a lot of incidents where people die as a result of not taking their treatment which is only for 6 or 12 months depending on the type of TB a person has,” she said.

The staff from the 4th Avenue Clinic with the acting operations manager Tsheki Dibate. Photo: Xoliswa Zakwe

Dibate added that they have 36 patients with TB at the moment and their cure rate is sitting at 85%, though the target is 95% but sometimes they do reach 100%.

TB survivor Thenjiwe Biziwa urges the community to take care of their health. Photo: Xoliswa Zakwe

Lebohang Mdluli from Open Diagnostics, a private healthcare facility in Alexandra, said they deal with X-ray services which play an important role in detecting TB. She said the X-ray checks if the TB is there on the chest and checks its progression in your lungs. “When you get to our offices you just give us the doctor’s referral letter and we promise two hours of waiting time for reports.”

Lebohang Mdluli from Open Diagnostics explains the services they offer. Photo: Xoliswa Zakwe

One TB survivor Thenjiwe Biziwa said she never realised that she had TB as she never coughed, she just had a swollen foot and shortness of breath, she then went to have an X-ray and discovered that she had bone TB and started taking her treatment for nine months.

Community members are given their gifts by Ntswaki Mogadima the health promoter at 4th Avenue Clinic during the Q and A session. Photo: Xoliswa Zakwe

Biziwa urged people to take care of their health by always visiting the clinic for check-ups and doing some home exercises whether they are sick or not because it is essential to look after themselves. “Prevention is better than cure,” she said.

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