KAMPALA – The Ministry of Health has on July 3 launched the Isoniazid Preventive Therapy 100-day accelerated Plan for Tuber Culosis (TB) among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV) at Golf Course Hotel.
According to the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the main goal of the 100- Day Accelerated IPT scale-up plan is to enrol 300,000 people living with HIV on IPT, scale up IPT initiation of children living with HIV and under 5 TB contacts & ensure 100% completion by 30th Sept 2019.
“It is one of the ambitions of the Ministry of Health to end TB by 2020 and HIV by 2030 since the statistics have it that TB is the leading cause of deaths among the people living with HIV. And it is not about just getting the drugs but the major emphasis should be put on whether the drugs are used accordingly,” Jane remarked.
She further said, “Among the objectives of TB prevention therapy, there is a need to establish a National Task Force to oversee coordination and collaboration between stakeholders & use coordination meetings to review milestones.”
Ms. Aceng added that annually 83,000 cases of tuberculosis occur, but only 50% of them are diagnosed and started on treatment.
“Despite the adoption of Isoniazid Prevention Therapy, Uganda has only been able to reach 16% of people living with HIV with this life-saving intervention,” she said.
Dr. Diana Atwine the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health said that approximately 140,000 clients now started on isoniazid preventive therapy.
“This is a sign that it is possible to reach all our PLHIV and children less than 5 years who are contacts of TB patients with this life-saving intervention,” she remarked.
Ms. Deborah Malac the United States ambassador in Uganda said ” It’s now my singular honour and pleasure to a healthy Uganda is definitely a more stable and prosperous Uganda. We shall continue to work and partner with the Ministry of Health for a tuberculosis-free Uganda.”
The global UNAIDS report of 2018 indicates that 32% of AIDS-related deaths were a result of TB. These needless deaths can be prevented using low-cost isoniazid that lowers the risk of suffering TB by up to 60% among people living with HIV.
According to the 2018 World Health Organization Global TB Report, 40% of TB patients in Uganda were co-infected with HIV in 2017, representing a TB incidence among PLHIV of 80/100,000 population.
TB remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV (PLHIV). An estimated 920,000 PLHIV worldwide fell ill with TB in 2017, of which 300,000 (32%) died from HIV associated TB in 2017.