Screening of inmates for Tuberculosis (TB), at Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Prisons has commenced. The screening is being done by Ministry of Health in collaboration with a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), called Chichetekelo Outreach.
Chichetekelo Outreach Executive Director Billy Sichamba confirmed the development with ZANIS in an interview in Kabwe.
Mr. Sichamba, who is also Kabwe Deputy Mayor, said his organization is working with the Ministry of Healthy, PATH Zambia as well as the Zambia Correctional Service Authority to screen all prisoners at the correctional facility.
He revealed that the Ministry of Health is providing the expertise services as well as the machinery to screen the inmates.
Mr. Sichamba disclosed that so far his organisation and partners have screened about 166 prisoners and 55 inmates have been presumed for TB.
He said testing of sputum is being carried out by Mahatma Ghandi Clinic, Kabwe General Hospital and Prisons Medium Clinic because they are the only facilities which have machinery to test for TB in Kabwe.
Mr. Sichamba revealed that the procedure to test for TB is cumbersome as it takes over two hours to test one sample of sputum.
He explained that this will result in taking a lot of time to conclude the exercise at the facility.
Mr. Sichamba noted that there is need for his organization to purchase motor bikes to be used to transport samples of sputum to the clinics to quicken the process.
He revealed that the response from inmates for the screening process of TB is overwhelming.
Chichetekelo Outreach Executive Director added that, Officers at Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility are also requesting to be included in the exercise.