PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN

TB cases in Busia on the decline – official

Reduction in prevalence attributed to improved surveillance for drug resistant TB.

In Summary

• Asoyong said the increase in drug resistant TB in the county was due to failure by patients to take medication as advised.

• National TB programme deputy director Samuel Misoi said men lead in TB prevalence in the country at 56 per cent.

A billboard advertises TB testing
A billboard advertises TB testing
Image: FILE:

Busia has recorded a drastic drop in tuberculosis cases over five years, county TB coordinator Mary Asoyong has said.

She said, however, TB is still a public health concern in Kenya.

Asoyong spoke to journalists and communication officers from Busia and Siaya in a Bondo hotel during a workshop on the need to scale up efforts to reduce TB prevalence.

She said Busia recorded 941 cases in 2016. The cases increased to 1,300 and 1,340 in 2017 and 2018 before dropping to 1,167 in 2019 and 757 in 2020.

This is a big contrast with Siaya, which recorded 1,697, 1,852, 2,126, 2,152 and 2,260 cases, respectively, during the same period.

She attributed the drop in cases in Busia to improved surveillance of drug resistant TB, noting that survey sites have helped detect many such cases.

Asoyong said the increase in drug resistant TB in the county was due to failure by patients to take medication as advised.

National TB programme deputy director Samuel Misoi said men lead in TB prevalence in the country at 56 per cent. He attributed this to excess alcohol consumption, smoking and social interaction.

Misoi said Kenya targets to wipe out TB by 2030 through intensive advocacy and partnerships with various organisations such as Komesha TB. Komesha TB is a USAID funded programme implemented by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops in Kenya. It targets to end the disease by 2030.

Busia county health promotion coordinator Nelson Andanje said although treatment for TB is free, the government spends nearly Sh2 million to treat a drug resistant TB patient and over Sh25,000 for normal TB.

As the country gears up for World TB Day on March 23, Andanje urged the media to create an awareness of the inherent dangers paused by TB.

On leprosy, Asoyong said Busia recorded few cases during the period under review. It registered six cases in 2016, 10 in 2017, and eight, 14 and seven in 2018, 2019 and 2020.