Busia TB Deaths due to lack of screening
Friday April 7, 2023
By Absalom Namwalo
Busia Residents have been urged to go for early TB screening and treatment to eliminate deaths caused by the contagious disease.
The County TB and Leprosy Coordinator, Mary Asoyong revealed that though the treatment success rate for TB stands at 88 per cent, the disease continue to claim many lives and called for urgent interventions to address the challenge.
Speaking at Bumutiru Dispensary in Butula Sub County during a TB case finding outreach, Ms Asoyong added that the deaths were very high compared to the acceptable number by WHO.
“The question is no longer about whether we can end TB, but how fast we must act to reduce the disease burden, save lives and maintain a high momentum towards a TB-free world,” noted Asoyong.
According to the statistics from the Ministry of Health, about 1000 Busia residents contract TB annually, 500 of the cases being multi-drug resistant TB.
Asoyong revealed that some victims die shortly after or before they are diagnosed with TB, adding that with early diagnosis the County will achieve a higher percentage of treatment success rate.
“We urged Busia residents to come forth on time for screening and treatment. If we are able to find these clients early enough, we will be able to improve our success rate in terms of treatment,” she noted.
According to WHO, Africa could miss target to end tuberculosis (TB) unless the continent reduce TB deaths by 75 percent and cases by 50 percent by 2025.
She encouraged locals to take advantage of the outreach services being conducted across the County, emphasizing that those who are not able to reach areas where the exercise is being undertaken should visit the nearest health facilities for the same services.
“The Community has a vital role to play when it comes to the fight against TB. We really need to advocate for early healthcare seeking,”Asoyong said while appreciating the support from partners including Dumisha Afya, Impact Research Development Organization and Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The partners, she added have been supportive to ensure that the Department of Health and Sanitation achieves its target in terms of TB control.
“TB is preventable and curable, yet 10 million people fall ill annually, making it the world’s most infectious killer disease. Major barriers to ending TB include limited access to health services, inadequate health infrastructure and lack of enough human and financial resources for health and social protection,” she noted.
The County health department has since 20th March been conducting screening outreaches across the seven Sub Counties aiming to find the missing TB cases. At the same time, the accelerated active case finding for TB is ongoing across local health institutions.