Workshop Equips Nurses with MDR-TB Management Skills
The Discipline of Nursing in the School of Nursing and Public Health at UKZN hosted a Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) workshop for professional nurses enrolled in the primary healthcare programme at UKZN.
The four-day workshop - facilitated by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, UKZN and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health - was a clinical management course designed for healthcare workers ((HCWs) in primary health care centres, preparing them to plan and deliver MDR-TB care in the community.
About 170 candidates, registered in the programme attended the workshop which provided a detailed overview of MDR-TB management, with special emphasis on treatment initiation at the community level by primary healthcare (PHC) nurses or clinical nurse practitioners (CNP) and medical officers.
This training was made possible by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
South Africa has the world’s highest rate of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB)/ Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) co-infection and ranks third for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis incidence and HIV prevalence.
Despite advances made in treatment and diagnosis over the past decade, drug-resistant TB remains a growing threat to public health.
The South African National AIDS Council’s National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, STIs and TB 2012-2016 recommends treatment initiation of MDR-TB by professional nurses at the community level to increase timely access to treatment and to ongoing care and treatment.
‘It is thus imperative to equip our healthcare workers providing services at PHC settings with the necessary knowledge to assist in their day-to-day clinical management systems and also improve the lives of our patients,’ said Dr Mbali Mhlongo, a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Public Health and a Developing Research Innovation, Localisation and Leadership (DRILL) Fellow,