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The latest technology for testing for Tuberculosis (TB) at Magarima District Hospital can deliver results in less than 2-hours, eliminating the need for test samples to be sent to Hela Provincial Hospital, a two-hour drive through some volatile parts of the province.

According to the Hela Provincial Health Authority (Hela PHA) CEO, Dr James Kintwa this means faster turnaround times and testing closer to home for most rural communities in the Komo-Magarima District.

“Previously, all TB test samples would have had to be collected and sent to Hela Hospital for analysis with a potential wait of three or more days for results to be returned.” "That waiting period is now over. With support from Oil Search Foundation (OSF), Hela PHA refurbished the Magarima TB clinic which now houses the new GeneXpert instrument,"
- Dr James Ki Hela Provincial Health Authority (Hela PHA) CEO

Provided by the National Department of Health and installed at Magarima District Hospital, the GeneXpert instrument will be used to detect the presence of the TB bacteria, as well as testing for resistance to the strongest TB Drug called Rifampicin. It can also test for COVID-19, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – viral load, and other diseases including some cancers that affect women.

Peter Pia, a local from Tundaka village in Magarima District, expressed how happy the community was when they were told that their district hospital now has the capacity to perform TB, HIV and COVID-19 tests.

“Bringing this machine to our hospital means that our health services are beginning to improve. In the past, these tests were done in Tari, which meant old people had to travel long distances to get a TB test done. Because of this difficulty, most refused to travel and would just remain in the village without getting proper help needed. This will no longer be the case. We are grateful to partners like OSF who work with Hela PHA to enable positive outcomes.”
- Peter Pia Tundaka village in Magarima District local

OSF Senior Health Advisor, Dr Vincent Pyakalyia said there is the possibility of TB spreading to other persons in the absence of a machine that properly detects the bacteria. ‘Now that the machine has been installed, it’ll help to detect people with the TB-causing bacteria and