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High TB prevalence worries medics in Kitgum

FILE PHOTO: Tuberculosis

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Kitgum General hospital, one of the government health facilities in Kitgum district continues to register high numbers of patients testing positive to Tuberculosis [TB], a highly contagious lung disease.

Dr Rosemary Auma, the in-charge of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis unit says so far 155 patients have been diagnosed with susceptible TB in a space of just three months since September.

Dr Auma says since the year begun, the facility has been registering averagely between 20 to 70 patients diagnosed with TB monthly. She says the numbers are higher compared to what they registered last year.

She says that the facility has also registered prevalence of multi-drug resistant TB cases, a form of TB known to be resistant to drugs used in treating susceptible TB.

Dr Auma says already five active MDR-TB patients are currently in isolation at the hospital receiving medication that last for about nine months.

Multi-Drug Resistant TB, according to Dr Auma is fuelled by poor adherence to TB and close contact to patients with MDR among others.

Walter Komakech Oyoo, the Kitgum district Secretary for Health and education says the situation is alarming.

He says the surge could be to cases of people who tested positive for TB but are not adhering to their treatment yet they are within the community.

Oyoo says there is need to start tracking down were the TB patients come from and carry massive sensitization of the community so as they support the patients to adhere to their treatment.

According to Oyoo, there is also need to improve on nutrition among the TB patients, majority of whom hail from impoverish backgrounds so that their medication work well and boost their immunity.

He advised residents to desist from bad lifestyles such as smoking, heavy alcohol consumption that puts their lives at risk of catching TB adding that any symptoms of persistent cough should be tested immediately.

Jackson Omona, the LCV Chairperson says they intend to come out with a comprehensive strategy of creating awareness for people to embrace testing for TB and have knowledge of how TB is transmitted.

He called on the Health Ministry to pay more attention on the surge in TB cases in the adding that without any immediate comprehensive responses, the condition may become disastrous.

Uganda commemorated this year’s World Tuberculosis (TB) Day in Ntungamo District in March under the theme, ‘It is time for Uganda to end TB”.

According to reports from World Health Organization [WHO], Uganda still remains one of the 30-high burdens TB/HIV countries in the world.

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