SAfAIDS Swaziland participated in a sensitisation campaign at Mahamba border gate in the Shiselweni region on December 22nd 2017, to welcome migrant workers home for the festive season. The activity was organised by the Ministry of Health working in close collaboration with the National TB control Program (NTCP) and country partners working on TB and HIV, especially those working with migrant workers. The goal of the sensitisation campaign was to educate migrant workers on health services available on their return home, to promote linkages to care and improve adherence to treatment.
The day’s guest of honour was the Minister of Health, Hon. Sibongile Ndlela-Simelane, who actively welcomed the migrant workers off the buses and encouraged them to make use of the health services available whilst at home. She emphasised the need to adhere to TB, HIV and malaria treatment and pointed out that as treatment for these conditions was free in all the country’s health facilities, people should visit the health facilities to receive their treatment.
SAfAIDS TIMS project provided information on both the Active Case Finding (ACF) and Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) projects. Brochures on TB prevention, treatment and care were also distributed to 67 currently employed miners on the day. The project team also encouraged the miners to screen for TB at their nearest health facility.
Reaching current migrant mineworkers for these projects is often difficult, as the target grout is generally away at work, so this was a great opportunity to reach out to them with information. TB Screening was not conducted during the event, as all field activity for the project had stopped for the year. However, the miners were referred to government screening services.