Pharmacists call for more attention towards TB

By Nyasha Mutena

At least 465 000 people were affected by multiple Tuberculosis drug resistant related ailments, an unfortunate predicament which could be avoided by taking TB medicine religiously, Retail Pharmacists Association Chairperson, Joyce Chaibva has said.

In a statement to mark The World Tuberculosis Day, Chaibva reiterated that medicines against TB should be taken as prescribed until they are finished in order to prevent the development of drug resistance.

“We should ensure that our homes, churches, workspaces, and schools are adequately ventilated; We should practise cough etiquette by covering our mouth properly when coughing and seek healthcare services early whenever we are not feeling well,” added Joyce Chaibva.

As has become the norm, Chaibva encouraged people to wash hands with soap and running water and also sanitize as often as necessary whilst promoting good hygienic standards to avoid getting Covid-19 and Tuberculosis as well.

In addition, Chaibva said people should eat healthy food, consume it while it is still hot and avoid cold foods.

“As community pharmacists, we are always ready to offer counselling on medicines and their expected side effects. Thus, we call upon everyone taking medicines to always talk to their pharmacist about their medicines and must not stop taking medicines on their own without talking to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist,” She added.

Chaibva urged the corporate world to partner with the government and the donor community in pooling resources together to fight TB in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030 and direct some of the funds towards medical research.

“We call upon relevant stakeholders to support our colleagues in research and academia by channelling more resources towards TB research especially in areas of nanotechnology in the treatment of the disease. We strongly believe that together we can end TB by 2030 in line with the WHO End TB Strategy and the Moscow Declaration to End TB. We, the community pharmacists, are collaborating with the rest of the stakeholders in the race to end TB by 2030,” She also said.

Tuberculosis is a potentially serious infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause TB are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Since 2000, more than 63 million lives have been saved through global efforts to end tuberculosis using medicines and vaccines to treat and prevent the disease.