Uasin Gishu County has a robust Tuberculosis management infrastructure, with at least 91 out of 204 health facilities able to diagnose and treat patients.

A recent survey shows that Uasin Gishu has 204 facilities – both private and public, and is therefore able to manage bacterial infection. At least 70 facilities can perform microscopy which is both a diagnostic and monitoring test for clients on treatment.

Last year the County notified 1872 cases of drug resistance TB compared to 1890 in 2022, a drop of 1 per cent, giving a total of notified cases to 5438 clients in three years.

The data were shared by Health Services County Executive Committee Member, Dr Abraham Serem on Monday, during the commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day themed Yes we can end TB at Uasin Gishu County Hospital.

The CEC noted that TB affects more men than females, with some of the disease drivers as diabetes, malnutrition, alcoholism and smoking.

“Our treatment completion rate for the 2022 cohort of patients (1890) was 88 per cent which was slightly more than the National average of 86 per cent,140 clients (7 per cent) died,5 per cent got lost while on treatment and the lost to treatment category of clients contribute to drug resistance TB,” said Dr Serem.

Dr Serem further said that TB Preventive therapy is a strategy for preventing contacts of the disease from developing resistance, highlighting that in 2023, 842 healthy clients were put on preventive therapy compared to 155 in 2022, a 542 per cent increase.

He said that the County has invested in the acquisition of biosafety cabinets to minimise the risk of TB transmission and make the laboratories safe.

“We have five molecular diagnostic sites (specialized diagnostic sites which can also give drug resistance analysis at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Huruma, Turbo and Moi Barracks) which are networked through a robust sample referral system of six riders,” added Dr Serem.

According to Chief Officer for Promotive and Preventive Health, Dr Paul Wangwe, in 2023 Kenya had an estimated TB occurrence of 133,000 people of which only 97,126 of these expected cases were diagnosed and notified indicating that at least 38% of these TB cases were either missed or not declared in the year and Kenya reported a total of 706 drug-resistant Tuberculosis (DSTB) cases in 2023 representing a 7% decrease compared to 2022.

On her part, Clinical Services Chief Officer Dr Joyce Sang called upon communities to join the fight to eradicate TB by ensuring the screening of all patients with a cough, loss of weight, fever and night sweats free of charge in all the facilities.

“We have many opportunities within us that can propel us to actualize our vision of ending TB, this includes a multi-sectoral framework involving all sectors, and primary networks, ensuring routine community screening of all households by community health promoters and working closely with all stakeholders,” said Dr Sang.

Director of Health Services Dr Evans Kiprotich said that in the last three years, the County notified 32 cases of drug-resistant TB which usually takes 18 months to treat.

Tuberculosis is still a significant cause of ill health and one of the leading cause of death worldwide and the purpose of its commemoration is to build public awareness, take stock of the gains made and chart innovative ways of ending the disease. It remains an epidemic in much of the world affecting 10.5 million people in 2023 and causing the death of nearly 1.6 million people each year. About 28,000 people fall ill daily with this preventable, treatable and curable disease.