Tuberculosis A Social Injustice

Treating tuberculosis: Districts hit by Isoniazid stock out… The (Uganda) National TB and Leprosy Program (NTLP), together with AIDS Control Program, rolled out implementation of this intervention (using isoniazid preventative therapy – IPT for people living with HIV) at the beginning of 2015. Despite this, the IPT coverage has remained low in the country.

This, according to experts,  continues to complicate the fight against TB; the very high TB/HIV co-infection with the high chance of a TB patient being co-infected with HIV being seven times the prevalence of HIV in the Uganda adult population.

A case in point that is most hit and continues to grapple with continued stock out of isoniazid is Bududa district. 

People with HIV who are eligible for isoniazid preventive treatment in Bududa are going without this treatment while those who are lucky to get it receive half doses.

Dr. Sylvia Namwaba, the in-charge at Bududa Hospital, confirms that indeed they have experienced stock out of isoniazid for a year.

“Since last year we have been reporting the stock out of the TB drugs but it is not delivered to our health facility. We do not know what is happening. IPT is a proxy for continuous treatment. When you start you take it for six months without stopping but most of our clients have not completed their doses,” she says.

This is an extract from a detailed analysis that is published in the New Vision which it is highly recommended that all should read in full. Here is the link

The mind boggles as to why such a highly infectious disease such as TB is among the diseases that are neglected in Uganda.

Not only do TB patients face drug stock outs, they as well face immense social injustice in accessing diagnostic technologies.

TB is a curable disease which if diagnosed in its early stages can easily be treated and its infection rate reduced.

But because it is neglected, TB is now among the most significant killer diseases in Uganda.

Recommended further reading: Publications on research and policy advocacy work that the Tuberculosis: Working to Empower the Nations Diagnostic Efforts (TWENDE) Consortium is doing on TB. Here is the link

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