- There is increased community awareness on TB, radio talk shows and community dialogues, training of trainers on TB and rolling out of pediatric TB guidelines with support from ministry of health
- The porous borders with DRCongo makes it difficult to make follow up of patients undertaking drugs
- Early treatment, staying in well ventilated places, well aired environment can protect one from infections
- Multi Resistant TBs are hard to treat because the drugs are expensive
By Candia Stephen
Arua-Political and civil leaders in Uganda have been called upon to unite in the fight against Tuberculosis and Leprosy that is ruining lives of people in families.
There is a concern that the Tuberculosis is becoming resistant to the drugs. Some are due to late reporting and inadequate up take of the drugs.
Speaking on Saturday during the Tuberculosis day at Arua Hill grounds, the State Minister for Health in charge General Duties, Sarah Opendi, said: “The threat of Multi-Drug resistant TB in Uganda and World over can only be managed if leaders come together to implement the new strategic TB plan.”
Dr Charles Olaro the Director Medical Services in the Ministry of health, said over 1,897 cases of Tuberculosis have been recorded and are being treated in Arua district. This, he said is high number of patients.
The community have been told to be observant on signs and symptoms of excessive sweating especially at night lasting for three weeks or longer, coughing out blood stain, body swellings like in the armpits, neck swellings and at the lower back.
The State Minister of Health in Charge General Duties, Sarah Opendi and the district leaders listen to explanation from Obulamu worker. Photo by Felix
Albert Okuti a former pulmonary TB patient in Arua hospital who suffered mental disorder as a result of the TB and severe TB drugs effect testified that TB is not a good disease at all and called on people to go for testing and treatment.
Meanwhile Dr Peter Lochoro Country Director CUAMM who represented the development partners at the celebrations says the pain of TB is critical.
He noted that 40,000 people in Uganda are still missing and have not been diagnosed while 37,000 people are expected to seek medical care have not shown up to do so.
“As partners, we want to pledge our support to government-driven efforts in the fight against TB, systems strengthening for maternal and emergency services for refugees.
Community members from Rhino camp perform drama as awareness creation on Tuberculosis. Photo by Felix
Dr Patrick Anguzu, the District Health Officer for Arua noted that with the large size and population (over 800,000) of the district coupled with the refugees (over 250,000) and travelers, the available facilities and services have been over-strained.
He says despite the above interventions, low level staffing, having only one gene machine serving already high burdened district, MDR TB ward meant for 4-patients now accommodating over 15 and increasing number of refugees remain a key challenges in tackling TB cases.
Situation in figures
120, the cases of TB managed since 2006
102, cases of multi drug resistant managed since 2006
21, number of cases of multi drug resistant TBs managed among refugees