- Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria whose scientific name is Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- It is transmitted primarily from person to person by breathing infected air during close contact
- The number of non-government-organizations (NGOs) working in TB control is also insignificant in the country
- The society here remains oblivious to the issue and continues to regard TB control, as a government responsibility
Arua-Tuberculosis has remained a major killer disease in communities across West Nile.
Arua district is today hosting the Tuberculosis (TB) day at Arua Hill grounds. The event started with a Run by students, civil society organisations, civil servants and pupils. This is to create awareness of the TB day.
John Lonyi 43, father of nine says he has dedicated much of his time to fight Tuberculosis because he has already known the cost Tuberculosis has inflicted on him and his family.
“It was not easy, it was really hard, and I had to sell my only bull at Shillings 700,000 that time. It is because I want to live for more years and take care of my children,” Lonyi said.
Lonyi tested positive in 2012 and was declared cured in 2014. He has since enrolled as an expert client and a role model to others in dispensing service at Adjumani hospital.
“My work is to ensure that clients comply with medication as prescribed. I continue to give clients hope and this makes their lives improve,” Lonyi said.
In her message, the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said: “Although the African region has made good progress in controlling TB, we still have the world’s highest levels of the disease and half of the existing cases are being found by our health systems. Health workers and nongovernmental organisations and technicians should maximize the use of proven methods to diagnose and successfully treat all types of TB.”
The theme of World TB Day 2018 – “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”- focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Mayors, Governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners. All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain.
Moeti added that WHO in the African region and the African Union Commission are setting up ways to monitor progress towards ending the TV epidemic by 2030. This is in line with the Sustainable Development (SDGs) and End TB strategy.
By December 2016 Arua regional referral hospital one of the eight MDR-TB support facility in Uganda registered 47 cases second to Mbale that has 73 cases according USAID/SUSTAIN.
WHO says over 25 per cent of TB deaths occur in the African Region. The emergence of multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.
49 million lives saved through effective diagnosis and treatment from 2000-2015.
480, 000 people developed multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the world in 2015.
100, 000 people with rifampicin-resistant TB also required second line treatment in 2015.
2 billion US dollars per year needed to fill resource gap for implementing existing TB interventions.