The Lifeline Clinic currently employs a UK-trained respiratory consultant who runs a TB clinical and research programme. This was established after initial pilot research suggested that San Bushmen have a lifetime prevalence of TB of 39% and a current prevalence of 10.5%. These are staggering numbers, more so because this population has a very low incidence of HIV.
The objectives of our research are:
- Identify the incidence and prevalence of TB in the San community.
- Research and develop a screening programme built on World Health Organisation recommendations, and then screen the San population for TB.
- Research and develop a treatment programme which reduces interruption and defaulting from treatment.
- Ensure the best treatment for our patients with TB, helping them access healthcare and receive appropriate treatment.
Current research focuses include projects at Gobabis Hospital to further determine the prevalence of TB in the San, qualitative research into the “patient journey” followed by San patients suffering from TB, and concerted efforts on contact tracing, which leads to further screening. Findings have been presented at the Namibian TB conference and efforts are being made to present results internationally.
We manage some patients ourselves, and have just successfully completed relapse TB treatment in a 4 year old boy, who came happily to the clinic every day for 8 weeks of streptomycin injections, followed by 6 months of tablets.
If you would like any further information about the TB project, please contact Dr Rebecca Taylor at Rebecca@naankuse.com
The Lifeline Clinic is very thankful to TFWA Care for supporting our TB Research Program.
We look forward to continuing with our research and working to improve the care available for San people living with TB!