United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has injected $7.5m (about Shs27.4b) in Karamoja Sub-region to address high tuberculosis (TB) prevalence and low treatment success rates in the area.
The 2020 to 2025 TB programme aims at supporting locally generated solutions and mobilising health facilities, village health teams, and community members for accelerated screening, successful treatment and prevention of TB.
“The United States mission in Uganda is committed to building a healthy, vibrant society where everyone has opportunities to achieve their full potential. Today, we join Uganda and the global community to acknowledge and remind the world how serious TB is and reaffirm our global commitment to ending the disease,” said Mr Richard Nelson, the USAID Uganda mission director, at the national commemoration World TB Day in Moroto.
According to Ministry of Health, about 90,000 Ugandans get TB annually. Of these 1,500 have drug-resistant TB while an estimated 15,600 die of TB-related illnesses.
Health minister Ruth Jane Aceng said Karamoja is one of the high TB burdened regions and that the national TB treatment success cannot be achieved without involving it as a priority.
“It is estimated that in Karamoja, TB is 10 times more prevalent than the national average. The treatment success rate was significantly low below 50 per cent. We have seen progressive improvement to about 80 per cent of those who start TB treatment completing successfully which has improved the national treatment success rates to over 80 percent from 72 per cent,” she said.
Ministry of Health has asked all leaders to involve the community in TB fight and follow up programmes instead of waiting for partners to do so.