The Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng has revealed that Tuberculosis (TB) is still one of the most dangerous diseases in Uganda and government should go on with its continuous efforts to create awareness of TB and Leprosy.
The Lira Municipality lawmaker made her call on Sunday while speaking during the first-ever TB Marathon in Uganda where she said that over 30 people die of TB in Uganda every day.
“The WHO Global TB report for 2021 estimated the TB incidence in Uganda at 196/100,000 population meaning 90,000 people fall ill of Tuberculosis disease every year. In the same report, it is estimated that 16,000 Ugandans died of tuberculosis translating to 30 people per day from this preventable and curable disease,” she said.
Dr Aceng added it is why the government through the Ministry of Health has invested significantly in strengthening the diagnosis and treatment at health facilities to improve Tuberculosis case detection through improving coverage of World Health Organisation -recommended rapid molecular tests like X-pert MTB/Rif (281 machines now in the country).
She confirmed that the expansion in diagnostics has helped Uganda to reach the highest ever TB Treatment coverage among those with TB of 84 per cent in 2020/21. This is significant progress from 2015 when almost nearly half of the people with tuberculosis disease each year were missing.
Dr Aceng however noted that the struggle to end TB in Uganda must be a collective responsibility from all government ministries and agencies because it’s expensive for a single ministry.
“The Ministry of Health, recognizes the very critical need for partnerships in the fight to end TB and reached out to other Ministries, agencies and civil society to develop the Multisectoral framework aimed at providing opportunity to all of us to participate in addressing the tuberculosis problem. The world TB commemoration activities require participation of all stakeholders es,pecially in awareness creation.”
“This year am happy we have lined up a nseveraltivities that promote everyone’s participation including; this Marathon, CAST TB Leprosy (home to home) awareness creation starting tomorrow (Monday) in all districts, and the national commemoration event which will be in Lira city on 24th March 2022. ThThe themeor World TB dayDayis year is “Invest in ending TB; Save lives!” and is the reason we are here today.”
Dr Aceng however,cautioned that as TB is dangerous, also the non-communicable disease are increasingly killing Ugandans yet the prevention is always easy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, apart from tuberculosis and other communicable diseases, the burden of non-communicable diseases is fast increasing in our people because of inactivity, and unhealth eating/feeding. Allow me to inform you that there is a close relationship between TB and these non-communicable diseases. Persons with diabetes, people who use tobacco, malnutrition for example have an increased risk of developing tuberculosis disease. I encourage you to do exercises routinely, practice healthy feeding to guard from these conditions.”
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