The minister of health Jane Ruth Aceng says the number of Tuberculosis (TB) patients who finish treatment has tremendously improved across the country although people in Karamajong region are highly affected.
She was speaking at the celebrations to mark the world Tuberculosis and leprosy day at Boma ground in Moroto district today -Wednesday.
“The treatment has shown success rate and significantly low in the past years prior to the emergency response that was declared in 2019, it has improved from 72% to 80%” says Aceng.
Aceng however says that the prevalence rate of TB remains the highest in the Karamoja region, more prevalent than the national average.
She Calls upon the local leaders to work closely with the community to ensure that they get tested and also are put on drugs so that they persist.
“It is your responsibility as a local leader to give courage, support and support to your people so that they can test for TB, and if they are sick follow up so that the person is treated.” Aceng advises.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has reminded Ugandans of the significant burden of TB despite the existence of effective control interventions.
The Day is being celebrated under the theme: TB to complete treatment and Beat Leprosy; End Stigma and Advocate for Mental Well-being in Uganda while the world theme is “the clock is ticking” because the TB response urgently needs to be accelerated to reach the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals and to realize the commitments made by Heads of State at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting on TB in 2018.
STATISTICS OF TB
There were an estimated 2.5 million TB cases in the African Region in 2019, accounting for 25% of the global burden.
More than 500,000 African lives are lost to this disease every year and 35% out of 100,000 Ugandan population die every year.
Too many people are pushed into poverty when they contract TB due to lost income, transport costs and other expenses.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe have carried out TB costs surveys that show that households of people infected with TB are spending over 50% of their income on TB-related costs.
This is well above the marker of 20%, which indicates catastrophic expenditure.
In recent years, some countries have made significant progress. Between 2015 and 2019, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and the United Republic of Tanzania reduced TB deaths by over 30%. Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania reduced new TB cases by 20%. However, overall progress in the WHO African Region remains slower than the milestones set for 2020.