MSU students exposed to tuberculosis, HIV
GWERU City Council director of health services Mr Samson Sekenhamo has said the has been a sharp increase in incidents of new HIV infections amongst students in tertiary institutions.
He also said students at institutions such as the Midlands State University (MSU) were at high risk of contracting tuberculosis due to their overcrowding in off campus rooms as the university was unable to accommodate all of them.
Speaking during a preparatory meeting for the belated World TB Day to be held at MSU campus on March 29, Mr Sekenhamo said the overcrowding of students had a high likelihood of increasing the risk of spreading of TB among students.
“Midlands State University has student population of about 20 000 students of which the greater proportion of them reside in Senga, Nehosho, KMP and Adelaide Park areas, thereby increasing the risk of spread of TB due to overcrowding and occupation population density coupled with poor ventilation in most of the dwellings,” he said.
Mr Sekenhamo said most students at MSU were defaulting TB treatment due to stigmatisation and this has increased cases of multi-drug resistant TB cases.
“Stigmatisation of those with tuberculosis is so high among the students leading to treatment interruption, absconding and non-adherence resulting in multi drug resistant cases,” he said.
According to the National Aids Council, there has been a sharp increase in new HIV incidences among youths, particularly those in tertiary institution.
It also revealed some youths end up defaulting treatment due to stigma and other various reasons.
Mr Sekenhamo said the city of Gweru has a population of about 170 945 fixed population and 30 000 floating population.
It has seven clinics which offer TB/HIV collaborative services.
This year’s theme is “It’s Time, #End TB”. World tuberculosis day was designed to build awareness about tuberculosis on March 24 every year and this day has been observed since 1982.