MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS PATIENTS NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT

The Mchinji Field Officer with the MDR Patients (couple).

The Mchinji Field Officer with the MDR Patients (couple).

One of the objectives of the organization is to support and follow up TB patients who are on treatment. The type of support varies from patient to patient, some require psychosocial support, others require close monitoring to ensure adherence and others require nutritional support. Most of the times the support is provided by TB club members who live the closest to the patient.

The patients that require nutritional support are usually Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) patients. These patients require this support because unlike normal TB that has a dosage of minimum of 6 months, MDR dose varies from 18-20 months. Due to the strength of the dosage patients need to be food secure to ensure adherence.

In the seven district we are working in, 5 districts have Multi-Drug Resistant patients. In the April-June quarter, we have a total of 12 patients as follows; Mchinji has 6 patients with two being a married couple, Dedza has one lactating mother whose child is currently on Isoniazid Preventive Therapy, Phalombe has one man, Zomba had five patients but unfortunately one passed away, and Neno has one lactating mother as well.

From the left; The Program Manager, Field Officer, MDR patient and the District Coordinator (Zomba).

From the left; The Program Manager, Field Officer, MDR patient and the District Coordinator (Zomba).

As part of the nutritional support the 12 patients were given a monthly package of a 50kg bag of maize, 5kg beans, a bucket of sun-dried fish locally known as usipa, two litres cooking oil, two packets of sugar (one KG) and a packet of salt. The District Coordinators with help from the volunteers went around providing the packages to the patients.