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Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on September 21, 2012

Labels: Malawi , Infectious Disease

The Mulanje District Hospital serves as the hub of Project HOPE's tuberculosis outreach efforts in the District.

Mount Mulanje rises more than 3,000 meters out of the plains of Southeastern Malawi. It is an impressive site. 

At the foot of Mount Mulanje is another impressive site - The Mulanje District Hospital. The hospital serves as the hub of Project HOPE's tuberculosis outreach efforts in the District. 

Thanks to a grant from USAID, HOPE is not only making a difference in the lives of the District's TB patients, but also allowing the hospital to improve overall care to the area's more than 575,000 residents. 

Malawi Nurses

In the words of one of the hospital's lead nurses, it is a "blessing" to work with HOPE because it is effectively addressing the TB problem, so that the hospital can focus its attention and resources on other health challenges. 

Since beginning its TB outreach program, HOPE has decreased the percentage of deaths among TB patients from 23 percent, to less than 8 percent. 

HOPE has achieved this success through expanding health professional training programs at the hospital, expanding TB screening opportunities in the community and providing TB resources at the District's HIV/AIDS clinics because the two diseases are often present together. 

In addition, HOPE has brought new diagnostic equipment to the hospital. With the GeneXpert technology, lab technicians can improve diagnosis, which leads to starting patients on treatment sooner. 

While there remains work to do in our fight against TB, HOPE and the Mulanje District Hospital are addressing the challenge as an experienced climber would attempt to ascend Mount Mulanje - one step at a time.

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