THE determined efforts of a Namibian health care professional changed the landscape for people suffering with Tuberculosis in the close knit communities in Swakopmund for ever.
Sister Susanna, the district coordinator for the prevention of TB in Swakopmund used resources available to her to open special TB clinics in most of the residential areas of Swakopmund which gave TB sufferers easier access to the medication they desperately need to battle the deadly disease.
The nurse first opened a special clinic which also serves as a medication distribution centre in the garage of the Tamariskia Clinic.
According to the Sister Susanna the idea behind the localised TB Clinics and distribution points came when she saw that people had to travel long distances from rural areas to get to the help in Walvis Bay.
“We used the garage at the existing clinic because it is away from the main clinic where lots of people gather each day to receive medical treatment for less serious ailments. Because of the distance the changes of TB spreading to other people is lessened and we can also help the sufferers quicker,” she said.
According to Sister Susanna the need for satellite medication distribution points quickly became apparent as many people have to walk from their homes in especially the informal settlements around Swakopmund to have access to medication and information.
“In this regard we established distribution points in Mondesa, the DRC and at New Start to help our patients. At the same time we could disseminate information to other residents about the prevention and identification of the disease.”
Sister Susanna said that she and her team are currently dealing with two strains of the virus – one that is easily treatable with normal medication and then the drug resistant strain.
“In certain cases we can help people with the drug resistant strain but the more serious cases are referred to hospitals in Windhoek for quarantine purposes and more intensive treatment with specially developed medicine t treat the resistant strain.”
She said the strategic placement of medication distribution points around Swakopmund has had a lot of success in combating the virus and the spread of the disease.
Sister Susanna said the TB clinic works from 07:00 in the mornings till 17:00 in the afternoons and welcomes people from all walks of life for treatment and testing.