TB Cases Increase Tremendously; Government Raises alarm

TB Patient TB Patient File photo

By The COAST Newspaper Rporter

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There are about 169,000 cases of Tuberculosis reported annually throughout the country, the Head of National Tuberculosis Leprosy and Lung Disease Program, Dr. Kameme Kimenye has said

Dr. Kameme Kimenye said before the prevalent survey conducted in 2016, the figure was previously estimated at 100,000 cases annually.

“Earlier we estimated the figure to about 100,000 cases annually but after the survey we noted a bigger number, about 169,000 cases,” he said

She noted that the government has put in place effective measures to ensure that the TB prevalent rate is reduced throughout the country.

The official indicated that the ministry of health is committed to ensuring that TB patients receive treatment from all the health facilities.

She acknowledged that according to the 2016 TB prevalent survey 40- 60 per cent of the cases were not treated.

“The ministry of health is working towards eliminating the disease, we are mandated with the responsibility of ensuring that we control treat and cure TB,” she said

The Dr. added that in 2017 about 85,188 TB cases were treated with about 90,000 of the cases being missed out in the same year.

She urged Kenyans to visit health facilities for diagnosis and treatment insisting that the government has brought in free treatment and diagnosis and has rolled out a program to ensure that TB patients receive an insurance health scheme.

She said the program intends to oversee control, treatment and cure of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

“Globally Kenya is one of the countries whose TB prevalent rate is still high and more effort is needed to ensure that TB prevalence is reduced throughout the country. Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs” She explained

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.

Once rare in developed countries, tuberculosis infections began increasing in 1985, partly because of the emergence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens a person's immune system so it can't fight the TB germs.

Many strains of tuberculosis resist the drugs most used to treat the disease.

People with active tuberculosis must take several types of medications for many months to eradicate the infection and prevent development of antibiotic resistance.

She said “Although your body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, your immune system usually can prevent you from becoming sick”

An estimated 2 billion people have latent TB.

Some of the signs and symptoms of TB include coughing that lasts there or more weeks, coughing up blood, chest pain or pain with breathing or coughing, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, chills and loss of appetite.

 

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