Thursday, January 24, 2019
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Institute sensitizes health providers on GeneXpert machine use

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To increase the number of TB cases that are identified in communities, about 150 health care providers in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kano State have been sensitized on the use of Gene Xpert machines to diagnose tuberculosis and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB).

Community Health Extension Workers, Laboratory Officers, Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) Officers, staff of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and LGA TB/Leprosy Control Officers participated in one-day training activities held in hospitals where the machines are located in the six LGAs.

Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) DR-TB Focal Person for Kano Region, Dr. Mustapha Tukur, said that IHVN organized the training at Tudun Wada, Kano Municpal, Rano, Minjibir, Gwale and Garko LGAs to create awareness and address barriers to GeneXpert testing. “We hope that by the next quarter when an assessment is being made, we’ll see a significant improvement in the utilization of the GeneXpert machines.”

imagesNational TB, Leprosy & Buruli Ulcer Control Programme (NTBLCP) Senior Quality Assurance Officer for Kano, Mr. Hamza Fagge, said that transportation of sputum from health facilities to the 17 hospitals in the state that have the machines was discussed. “With this sensitization, we are going to have more TB case finding. We are looking at 720 samples from each of the GeneXpert machines per quarter.”

Participants at the training including Musa Mohammed Jogana, the GeneXpert Focal Person at General Hospital Minjibir said the training will ensure that samples received for testing are of good quality. “Before, some samples from the CBOs and DOT providers used to be rejected but they now understand the volume of samples that should be given and that samples shouldn’t have food particles.”

Another participant, Mohammed Abdullahi Ahmad, the Laboratory Focal Person at Garko Cottage Hospital, said that he gained better understanding on the use of GeneXpert testing and Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) testing. “I have learned a lot in this training about GeneXpert. Before, I used to be confused about whether GeneXpert is for all patients. Now, I know that AFB is for follow-up.”

Similar sensitization activities have begun in nine Local Government Areas in Lagos State by the Institute.

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