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Health ministry, WHO launch TB prevention campaign for people living with HIV

Uganda and partners have launched a campaign to end TB in people living with HIV. (PHOTO/WHO)

KAMPALA – Ministry of health, World health organization of the United Nations in partnership with US embassy in Uganda have launched the TB Preventive Therapy scale up plan aimed at ending TB in the country.

The launch focuses on Tuberculosis Prevention Treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) in Uganda.

World Health Organisation to Uganda Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that Tuberculosis is not only the world’s biggest infectious killer, but it is also the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.
In 2017, for example, he said TB was responsible for 32% of the 940 000 lives lost to HIV.

People living with HIV are far more vulnerable (at least 20 times more) to TB infection than people without HIV. TB is preventable with effective TB preventive treatment (TPT), which reduces the risk of mortality by 37%.

75% of people living with HIV are aware of their HIV diagnosis . But, of the people with HIV estimated to have active TB, only 50% have been identified and are receiving care. Therefore, many people whose lives could be saved through HIV treatment are dying of undiagnosed TB

“We urgently need to scale up TB diagnosis and strengthen referral and linkages to TB treatment at HIV service delivery points in all countries. This goes for all populations at risk, including children, pregnant women and marginalized groups” he said.

“A healthy Uganda is definitely a more stable and successful Uganda. Together we’ll continue to work to eliminate Tuberculosis in the country,” Ms. Deborah Malac, the US ambassador to Uganda noted.

Uganda has borne disproportionate burdens of HIV and TB over the years. For the HIV epidemic, the healthy ministry and partners, have over time implemented HIV prevention and treatment interventions that have resulted in significant epidemic contraction in the last five years.

“New infections were estimated at 53,000 in 2018 compared to 130,000 in 2010. AIDS related deaths have also declined to 26,000 in 2018 down from 60,000 in 2010. These however contrast with the big burden of TB that continues to be reported in Uganda” noted Dr. JaneRuth Aceng

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