Male and female tuberculosis (TB) patients are sharing a ward at Ntcheu District Hospital, a situation that the hospital ombudsman, Beatrice Chimwala, says is compromising the patients privacy.
Chimwala told reporters during a two-day media tour organized by National TB and Leprosy Elimination Program (NTLEP) that patients use one ward, which is demarcated by curtains.
“Many patients both male and female admitted in the ward lose confidence as it is not common to share wards though curtains are used to separate them,” she said.
Chimwala said other wards are well separated but it is only the TB ward adding the complaint has been reported to the relevant officials to solve the problem so that there can be two separate wards for female and male.
According to her, in terms of treatment and care, the hospital has not received any complaint from TB patients.
Assistant District TB Coordinator, Lameck Kanjika said despite few challenges faced at the hospital, there has been good progress in the fight against the disease.
Last year on average, he said, the district had over 100 TB cases while in the first quarter of 2023, they diagnosed 149 cases.
“To us it is a great achievement because we are able to detect cases both in the communities and at the hospital,” he said.
Kanjika added that with the treatment success rate, the district has done well at 90 per cent compared to previous rates which were at 80 per cent.
According to him, during last year, out of 104 cases recorded, 94 got cured from TB.
Kanjika added that the use of volunteers, Gene Xpert machines and opening of additional sputum point collection points has enabled the district to register success.