Delft Light Backpack:
The stories behind finding missing TB cases.
Our journey to TB ACF led us into a remote coastal community called Okoritak, this community is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the people here live-in clusters of thatched houses with so many children and women, the men are mostly young, and their occupation is fishing and boat transportation, No hospital or even a health center was found here, the picture looked gloom to us but there faces said otherwise, they smiled, played and rejoiced at our arrival.
Life jackets were handed over to the team members and the ( TB & Leprosy Supervisor (TBLs) who led the team, the DLB and it’s accessories were then loaded into the boat, the team who were already dressed in life jackets were asked to push the boat off the shore into the deeper part of the water before the boat engine could come on. The journey commenced and halfway into the trip the boat engine went off, a situation that led to panic for the team but seemed very usual for the boat operators as they looked unperturbed while trying to fix the problem which made a 20 minutes trip take about 45 minutes to complete.
On arrival, some delegates from the community were on-hand to receive the team with excitement and led them with motor bikes to the screening location for the day. Forty-three people were screened with chest Xray, 10 presumptive TB were identified which yielded 1 case of TB. Clinical consultations were provided, vital signs checked, provider initiated HIV counselling and testing offered to identified presumptive and those with minor ailments were offered medications. This activity was in collaboration with FHI360 who have always partnered with us, to test our presumptive TB for HIV.
On our return, we were informed that the boat would not sail until 6pm, when the tides and waves were expected to have gone down, to our amazement their predictions were correct, the team sailed at about 6pm and arrived 20 minutes later without any drama.