In the Democratic Republic of Congo, tuberculosis (TB) detection remains a big difficulty, with about half of an projected 21 000 cases of TB being discovered each year. Diagnostic machines have been installed in the capital Brazzaville as well as its second city, Pointe-Noire, by the WHO using Global Fund funding to assist the government in ramping up testing. Patients with tuberculosis may now begin treatment sooner because to the eight-fold increase in testing throughput made possible by the new equipment.
The Antituberculosis Center at Brazzaville is regularly full, with around 30 patients daily.. Modern diagnostic equipment at the facility make testing and treatment more accessible to all. Testing can be difficult, despite its importance in the battle against TB. Samples are taken, analysed, and medications are given to patients at the centre.
After being delivered and installed in December of 2021, the GeneXpert diagnostic devices have significantly improved diagnosis, which has had a direct influence on therapy.
Director of the National Tuberculosis Program, Dr. Franck Okemba Okombi,, notes that earlier, these centers were “swamped with samples to be analyzed.” “The (clinic) in Brazzaville would get an estimated 40-50 patients per day, but the equipment they possessed could only diagnose 24 people per day. “only the most urgent cases were ones we attended.”
Around 70 samples are analysed daily by the GeneXpert devices in Brazzaville. At minimum 60 samples are tested daily in the town of Pointe-Noire. Access to diagnostics services increased from 30 percent to 9 percent of the population.
Tuberculosis can only be defeated if people are properly screened for the disease. o works and pushes for patient-centered treatments that include regular screenings of groups that were at high risk and preventative treatment for these persons,” says Lucien Manga, who is the Congo’s WHO Representative.
New diagnosis and centers of treatment are being supported by WHO to put TB on the list of essential medical services. As a result, the screening process will become more decentralized and more efficient.