Bodaboda - A rescue to the patients?
Non-standardized specimen-transport logistics, lack of laboratory personnel to transport specimens, and long turnaround time (TAT) hindered access to quality laboratory services in Tanzania.
Non-standardized specimen-transport logistics, lack of laboratory personnel to transport specimens, and long turnaround time (TAT) hindered access to quality laboratory services in Tanzania. Many people die of easily preventable or curable diseases because barriers of distance, terrain or poverty which stop them from seeking health care.
Challenge TB (CTB) support use of motorcycles for sputum sample transportation from lower level health facilities to site with Gene Xpert machines.
Kwimba district in Mwanza Region was selected based on burden of Tuberculosis and HIV prevalence. Specimen collection tools i.e. log book which captures patient’s demographic data and sample data including Turnaround time, transportation manual, training materials, sample referral register, reporting and recording forms were developed to support the initiative.
One motorcyclists were hired for transportation of the specimen from 7 the lower facilities within the district to nearby Gene pert services.
Sensitization meeting were conducted to the Regional Laboratory Technologists, Regional Tuberculosis and Leprosy Coordinators District Medical officers, Health facility in charges, lab in charges, the motorist of selected health facilities and TB/HIV district coordinators.
Examination of the sent specimen is done by the team of laboratory experts who have been trained on the use of GeneXpert.
Since the commencement of implementation of this activity in October 2016 to October 2017, A total of 1500 samples (smear negative specimens) were collected and transported to nearby Gene pert machines for testing; out of them 125 specimens were found MTB positive and six (1) Rif Resistant, which means they are drug resistant patients. All the patients were initiated on anti- tuberculosis (TB) treatment. Below table explain more.
The transport system also generated renewed trust in the national health system among the communities served, which is essential in order for patients to seek treatment when they become ill. Following the successful completion of this in one-pilot district, CTB through USAID plans to expand this intervention to all districts in the region and advice the ministry to do the same in other Non CTB Regions.