Written by  Doreen Sonani
The use of Mobile Tuberculosis Diagnostic Units has been described as an innovative way of ensuring access to TB diagnosis and management in the wake of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on TB care and treatment services.
Mobile vans touted in TB fight Mobile vans touted in TB fight
Programme Manager for National TB and Leprosy Elimination Programme in the Ministry of Health, Dr James Mpunga, has touted the initiative as a model that has helped to increase Malawi’s TB case finding amid the pandemic.
He was speaking in Zanzibar, Tanzania at the Regional Advisory Committee meeting for the Southern Africa TB Health Systems Support Project.  
“We were able to go out and search for TB cases using the mobile diagnostic vans. Despite challenges at the implementation level in regards to Covid-19 situation, people working in these vans remained committed to working and the ministry supported them with necessary personal protective equipment to reach out to everyone in need of TB diagnosis services,” said Mpunga.
He said most communities in Malawi have welcomed the initiative as they can access TB diagnostic services within their localities.
Malawi has a total of seven mobile TB diagnostic vans purchased with support from the Global Fund and they are operated with pooled resources from the Southern Africa TB and Health Systems Support Project and other partners.
The vans are stationed in  Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba, Mangochi and Mzuzu. 

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