Saving Life Through Chemists Engagement in Tuberculosis Care and Control Activities Success Story: Oliva Ochieng

Even with improved access to health care systems and increased TB care services, Mr. Oliva Ochieng a 25-year-old merchandise vendor (hawker) in Kisumu town found himself among the missed opportunities for TB diagnosis. Oliva had been a regular customer at Janchris Chemist in Kisumu and on many occasions, he could visit Janchris Chemist for his medical concerns as he went about his business.
Janchris Chemist, which is a busy chemist, owned and managed by Christopher who is a registered pharmacy technician has an average workload of up to 80 clients per day of whom 25% purchased cough syrups. The chemist was engaged in August 2019 to be part of the private providers offering TB care services in various capacities through the support of the county team and PS Kenya. The engagement was done after sensitization of the private providers on TB care and control activities to increase their suspicion index on TB. Jan Chris chemist joined as TB screening and referral site.
For about 3 months Oliva had visited Janchris chemist with complaints of persistent cough and mild night sweat of which he was bought antibiotics and cough syrup, he visited with the same complaint about three occasions and every time he took the medicine he got some relieve but lasted for a short while. On 26th March 2020, Oliva as usual visited Janchris chemist to purchase some cough syrup for releive from the persistent cough before embarking on his hawking business, but after explaining to Christopher (Pharm-tech) he was informed of importance of TB screening and Oliva acepted to take the test. Christopher presented Oliva with a falcon tube for sputum sample collection after explanation on how to use it which he did as guided, he was then asked to come the next day since the test (Gene expert) is done in a diferrent facility.

Mr. Christopher immidiately after the sputum collection called the motor rider who had been engaged for sputum sample networking and transportation, on processing the sample tested positive for TB and Janchris chemist was notified immediately.
The following day Oliva was informed that his results were ready and he promised to pass by the chemist on his way to work which he did. On arrival he was informed of the results and guided on how futher management would be done. He was linked to Nyalunya Health Centre for TB treatment and was started on treatment immidiately.

Oliva thanked Mr. Christopher that the course of his persistent cough had been identified through his support, he also asked if his brother whom they live together would be tested for the same because he might have also been infected. His brother was tested but his results turned negative. Oliva has resolved to be a TB ambassodor in his community owing the help he has received through his friend Christopher of Janchris chemist.

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