Lesotho is among the 30 High-Burden TB countries in the world, as classified by World Health Organization (WHO) and only 46% of TB cases were detected in 2017. Addressing this challenge requires finding the missing TB cases. Hence, the Ministry of Health of Lesotho has received Digital Mobile X-Rays under the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support (SATBHSS) Project to improve TB service delivery, especially in the rural communities and find the missing TB cases.
The Digital Mobile X-Rays were delivered to the country on 21st June 2018 and will also be used in the national TB prevalence survey that will begin in July. There are three Digital Mobile X-Rays consisting of two trucks and one van, all fully equipped with X-ray machines, solar panels and a generator. During delivery and inspection of the equipment, the National TB Manager of Lesotho, Dr Llang Bridget Maama-Maime said that this is a comprehensive, innovative approach to finding the missing TB cases in Lesotho, while at the same time bring services to the communities, and empower them to respond to the call for early TB diagnosis, treatment, care and support.
“Arrival of the Digital Mobile X-rays give us hope that the TB prevalence survey will happen. Beyond that, the X-rays will be used to conduct community based case finding interventions in an effort to find all existing TB cases in Lesotho and eliminate TB as a public health threat,” Dr Maama said.
She further said that the Digital Mobile X-rays have additional systems which will assist in TB diagnosis called CAD4TB system. This is able to give colour coding that can ease the process of reading the X-rays by the clinicians. The X-Rays will also play a critical role in the community based TB project that will serve as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Community based TB care under the SATBHSS project.
Mounting of the equipment on the Digital Mobile X-rays is said to be excellent and the equipment is of good quality. Additional safety measures will be implemented to stabilize the unit on the trucks and the van and to strengthen the wheels by doubling them at the rear. The drivers will soon be deployed to ensure that the Digital Mobile X-rays begin this journey to finding the missing TB cases and also conducting the national TB prevalence survey in Lesotho.