Swazi Health Minister Calls for Community Action To Address TB
Swaziland's Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Benedict Xaba, on Saturday urged communities to engage in collective efforts to control tuberculosis and care for people with the disease, the Swazi Observer reports. Xaba made the comments in the village of Kaphunga during a TB celebration day, which aimed to promote awareness of the importance of individual and collective action against TB.
According to Xaba, community members "need to encourage those who have symptoms of TB to go and check at a clinic or health center." In addition, Siphiwe Khumalo, regional TB coordinator for the Shiselweni region, called for traditional healers to participate in TB control efforts. Xaba said he plans to visit with traditional healers soon to learn about their work, adding that the health officials "believe we can form a strong partnership with traditional healers because they also have a role to play in the fight against disease."
According to the Observer, Swaziland's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is partnering with Medecins Sans Frontieres to encourage communities to contribute to the theme, "I am stopping TB." Aymeric Peguillan, MSF head of mission in Swaziland, said education programs should teach people how to manage TB and reduce the risk of infection. He added that such initiatives should disseminate TB control messages to both urban and rural communities (Ndlovu, Swazi Observer, 4/6).