South Africa Tries Treating TB Patients at Home
March 24, 2009
In the township of Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, health authorities have teamed up with Doctors Without Borders (DWB) on a pilot project to care for patients with drug-resistant TB at home instead of under forcible confinement.
"What we are piloting [in Khayelitsha] is the best compromise to give some decency and respect to patients who are facing this terrible illness," said Goemaere.
Under the government-sanctioned project, health workers are specially trained to treat patients in the home environment; all family members are screened for the disease; and everyone is required to be meticulous about wearing a face mask. Initial results have been encouraging, with an increase in the number of TB cases diagnosed and in patients adhering to treatment, said Virginia Azevedo of the Cape Town health department. The project is expected to run for at least another two years.
03.23.2009; Clare Nullis