, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – The Ministry of Public Health has classified Rift Valley and Nyanza provinces as the two regions with the highest burden of Tuberculosis in the country.
The Head of TB Dr Joseph Sitienei said on Tuesday that the two regions accounted for 40 percent of the TB prevalence in the country.
“The simple reason is that we have a high rate of HIV especially in a place like Nyanza. There is also a lot of poverty and these are the two conditions that actually pre-dispose people to have TB,” Dr Sitienei said.
“Rift Valley is vast but there are areas within Rift Valley with many cases of TB and we are now concentrating on these areas to ensure that we have more involvement of the communities,” he added.
Dr Sitienei said the Ministry now aimed to have a two percent reduction of the disease in the two regions annually.
He said that Nairobi had made tremendous progress in reducing cases of TB because of interventions like community participation and decentralisation of services.
Public Health Minister Beth Mugo said there was need for individual and collective effort to eliminate TB.
“I am reliably informed that we may in fact have already achieved the MDG target to reverse the incidence of tuberculosis by 2015. However, a lot more needs to be done if we are to achieve the global Stop TB Partnership target of eliminating tuberculosis as a public health problem by 2050,” she said.
Kenya remains among the 22 high TB burden countries of the world with an estimated 200 people dying of the disease every day.
The two were speaking at the launch of the national Stop TB partnership which is a voluntary alliance of organisations drawn from the public, civil society, academia and private sector with an aim to eliminate TB.
“It is my sincere hope that this partnership will show commitment and enthusiasm in working collaboratively towards TB prevention, care and control,” Mrs Mugo said.
The partnership will mainly focus on raising awareness about TB and advocating for greater political commitment and funding for TB prevention, care, treatment and research.