TUBERCLOSIS CASES IN LANGO AND ACHOLI HAVE DECREASED THOUGH STILL WORRYING, MINISTRY OF HEALTH ASKS PEOPLE TO GO FOR SCREENING 

By Goodluck Musinguzi

Uganda is among the 30 high Tuberculosis/HIV burden countries with a TB prevalence and incidence at 253 cases per 100,000 and 234 cases per 100,000 respectively. The burden of RR-TB/MDR-TB is estimated at 1.4% among all new and 12.1% among previously treated TB cases.

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks , sneezes, spits, laughs or sings. Although tuberculosis is contagious, its not easy to catch.

Ministry of Health released their annual report showing proportion of TB cases notified by region from July 2019 to June 2020.

Lango posted the highest percentage in Uganda at 134% from July to September 2019, 90% from October to December 2019, 95% from January to March 2020 and 85% in the month of April to June 2020.

In Acholi region 93% was reported from July to September 2019, 73% from October to December, 72% from January to March 2020 and 64% from April to June 2020.

TB case detection rate increased by 5.1% to 82% in 2019/2020 from 78% and still below the HSDP target of 84%.

Of the target incident 71,740 cases, 86%(62,288) were notified, majority 93.8% (58,438/62,288) of the cases were new, without history of TB treatment while 6% (3,763/62,288) were relapses and the rest had a treatment history unknown.

Of these 37% were females and 63% were males. Of the 62,288 incident cases 7,594 were children, representing 12% of the TB cases.

The above TB cases by quarter and numbers notified by region for the period July 2019 to June 2020. There was a general drop in performance, although when compared with last year it is only the April-June quarter that had a stark decline (64% versus 82% in financial year 2018/19).

This is partly attributable to reduced access to screening and diagnosis following the Covid-19 lockdown.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services has continued to announce that people must continue accessing health services despite Covid19 challenges.

Ministry of Health has continued to provide the latest machines that help in screening to help people access medication.

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