Article on Angop, Benguela, 9 November 2022
The abandonment rate in the treatment of patients with tuberculosis has dropped to six percent this year in Benguela province, as a result of the innovative community screening project by the NGO ADPP Angola, which started in July 2021.
The community project for the prevention of tuberculosis, which also includes HIV/AIDS and malaria, is being implemented by the NGO ADPP Angola, with funding from the Global Fund that covers the provinces of Benguela and Cuanza Sul up to June 2024
Speaking to the press, at the end of a visit today by the Secretary of State for Public Health, Carlos Alberto Pinto de Sousa, to a tuberculosis diagnosis center in Benguela, the director of the Provincial Health Office, António Cabinda, highlighted that, in 2021, the dropout rate was 11 percent. The reason for the drop to 6% is the ADPP Angola programme, which consists of the monthly distribution of a basic food basket, mainly for the 108 patients with multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) currently being controlled, which has helped them to continue their medication.
“Many of the patients are needy and have been abandoning their medication due to lack of food,” he said, rejoicing in the results of the partnership with ADPP. The food support to patients motivates them not to abandon the treatment, aiming to control tuberculosis. In addition, many patients resumed medication thanks to another follow-up project, also carried out by ADPP, through which a health agent carries out community screening and brings patients to the units.
Despite the five thousand cases of tuberculosis registered from January to October this year in the province, Benguela has one of the most complete diagnostic networks in the country, with 30 units that carry out the diagnosis of Koch's bacillus.
The Secretary of State for Public Health advocated for ADPP’s continued monitoring of patients by Community Health Agents (ADECOS), for better control of cases and a reduction of the chain of community transmission. For Carlos Alberto Pinto de Sousa, this intervention is an asset and should be replicated, as it helps significantly to improve access to quality care for patients and reinforces the prevention component. As for the provinces not covered by this project, Carlos Alberto Pinto de Sousa commented that they are served by a Ministry of Health national program to fight tuberculosis, from prevention to treatment.
According to the inter-provincial coordinator of the ADPP Angola project, Andrew Pamuchigere, 600 tuberculosis patients are being followed up in the municipalities of Benguela, Lobito, Catumbela and Baía Farta, with plans to extend the program to the remaining six municipalities in the interior of the province. Andrew Pamuchigere pointed out that the country is committed to the 90-90-90 goals, which aim at diagnosing 90% of possible cases of tuberculosis.
Read the article in Portuguese here: