About Us

Paradiso TB Patients’ Trust (PTPT) is a community TB initiative which function as a non-governmental organization existing according to the laws of Malawi. It is located along the M1 road next to St Johns primary school in Lilongwe district. The organization was founded in 2000 and officially registered in 2003 with Malawi Government. The organization was found as a home based care organization for people living with HIV in Ngwenya community but over the course; it grew from a community based organization into a local non-governmental organization and shifted more of its focus to TB.

Paradiso is led and supported by TB survivors and people living with HIV and those affected by Tuberculosis. It currently runs programs in Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV through TB Clubs in seven districts namely Lilongwe, Mchinji, Dedza, Dowa, Zomba, Phalombe, and Neno. The organization’s core business is dissemination of TB information and TB case detection in communities, and providing treatment support for TB patients. The organization functions using 47 TB clubs across the 7 districts with a membership of 831 volunteers excluding secretariat and district staff.

A community free of TB, HIV and AIDS, and where the rights of people infected and affected by the two disease conditions are protected and promoted.

To provide people infected and affected by TB, HIV and AIDS the best services and information required for informed health-care seeking decisions from a rights based perspective.

Community/Social mobilization:

  1. PTBPT main goal is to disseminate TB information to communities especially underserved. Community mobilization and engagement to raise awareness of TB is very key to the work of the organization. Volunteers disseminate information through different mediums and these are: through health talks, focus group discussions, outreach sessions, one on one sessions, they also distribute TB booklets and other IEC materials, and use of media platforms such as the radio in some districts. The volunteers do these activities at different arenas in the communities and these are funerals, health centres/facilities, schools, churches, market places, and other community gatherings. They actually create demand for TB services at the health centres they are housed due to the awareness campaigns. It is actually at these activities that the volunteers screen, identify, and refer sypmtomatics to the facility.

Patient Follow up and Treatment Support:

  1. Treatment adherence support to patients diagnosed with TB; volunteers provide counselling, nutritional (where needed especially MDR-TB). Patients followed are not always those initiated by Paradiso volunteers but also those referred to the volunteers by health personnel.

OVC and Pen-pal Project:

  1. Paradiso supports Orphans and vulnerable children with education support; school fees, and school materials such as school bags, uniform. The pen-pal project connects 120 children coming from vulnerable homes in Ngwenya area with their 120 children from Norway. Each child ghas been connected with a pal and they write each other back and forth: due to the relationship, children from Malawi have been able to benefit from not only the culture learning but also materials such as toys, blankets, uniforms, school shoes and bag.

TB in Mines:

  1. This pilot project was conducted in Neno and Phalombe districts. The aim of the project was to reach artisan miners with TB information and raise awareness of the health hazards they face in regards to TB. Paradiso was there to enlighten them and work with Mining companies to educate and encourage them to provide safety gear to their workers. Though this phased out and we are yet to hear about the way forward, Paradiso is still working in the 2 districts and still disseminates TB information to the artisan miners.

TB in Prisons:

  1. The organization went on an exchange visit to Zambia where a partner organization; CHEP is implementing a project in prison called “in but free”. The team learnt a lot from this visit which they used to conduct a research at Zomba maximum prison entitled: Implementing a successful tuberculosis (TB) control programme in prisons in Malawi: A case of Zomba Prison. Results of the research have been disseminated among partners and a way forward mapped. The organization will pilot a project at Zomba maximum prison were peer educators will be trained to disseminate TB information in the prisons, periodic mass screening, and capacity building of health workers will be conducted.

Our Impact in 2018, Key Results for Paradiso included:

  1. 240 045 people reached with TB information.
  2. 11, 113 people out of the 240 045 screened for TB.
  3. 1079 symptomatic(s) out of the 11 113 screened people.
  4. 144 people out of the symptomatics diagnosed with TB.
  5. 440 TB, HIV/AIDS, and others with long term illnesses supported by volunteers.

OVC support includes:

  1. Education Support.
  2. Psycho-social support.
  3. Pen-pal Project links children from Malawi with their fellows in Norway. Currently, the schools in practice are Ngwenya LEA and in Norway.

Approach

Paradiso established TB clubs which are housed in the 47 health centres in the seven districts we are currently working in. The TB clubs are composed of former TB patients; these volunteers are trained in TB information dissemination, TB symptomatic(s) screening and referral, and TB patient care. The volunteers disseminate TB information in their communities, churches, mosques, schools, funerals, and in all departments of their health facility through different mediums such as health talks, focus group discussion, and outreach sessions. During these TB information dissemination meetings; the volunteers screen for presumptive TB cases using the four cardinal questions. After screening, they refer all presumptive(s) to the facility for testing and those diagnosed with TB are put on treatment and the volunteers provide drug adherence support. The volunteers also assist with contact tracing in all households which have pulmonary TB case(s). They also trace and bring back to care patients that have stopped taking their drugs (lost to follow up). As an office, Paradiso provides nutritional support to multi-drug resistant TB (MDR) patients in districts we are working in.

From January to December 2018, Paradiso through its volunteers managed to find 144 new TB cases in all the 7 districts and all these cases were put on treatment with some completing their treatment.

Since the year 2003 to date, our volunteers have been in hard to reach areas in their communities disseminating TB messages. Our work is fully recognized by the Ministry of Health through the national TB control program as such we are part and parcel of all community TB interventions instituted by the national TB control program. We actively take part in organizing and supporting the activities in the annual national commemoration of world stop TB day ceremony organized by the National TB Control program (NTP).

Currently the organization has 1 grant, with LHL International. The organization partnered with ACHAP on a TB in Mines (TIMS) project which wound up in 2017.

Paradiso TB Patients Trust Partners

  1. National TB control Program (NTP) Malawi
  2. FACT
  3. REACH Trust
  4. Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
  5. Development from People to People (DAPP)
  6. DHO (District Health Office) in all 7 districts
  7. USAID