The Tuberculosis Working Together to Enforce Diagnosis Efforts (TWENDE) Consortium Chairperson, Dr Wilber Sabiiti, has said that tuberculosis (TB) remains a high disease burden in Uganda.
Sabiiti revealed that a total of 87,000 new cases are registered every year and around 50 percent of the said figure succumbs to the disease annually.
“TB has been here for over 3,000 years, but we have failed to eliminate it yet it can be cured. Perhaps, it’s because of focusing on programs like medical interventions and ignoring important aspects that influence it like poverty,” he said.
Dr Sabiiti on Monday told journalists who gathered at Mulago Guest House that most of the funds to cater for TB came from donations.
“Uganda needs to follow up closely on the commitment to end TB prevalence by 2030 by allocating more funding to the patients in communities and all people exposed to it,” he said.
“Since the disease can be cured, there is need for prompt action to halt TB transmissions in Uganda.”
TB is a contagious infection that usually attacks lungs, though it can also spread to the other parts of the body like the brain and spine.
Dr Sabiiti also called for urgent supply of quality and adequate drug resistant TB medicine which are friendly to the patients since they have been complaining that the current drug is big and bitter.
“Make them drugs they can easily swallow with no complaints. Sensitize the public to stop stigmatizing them,” he said.