• Drug-resistant TB occurs when bacteria become resistant to the drugs used to treat the disease, and as such, the drug's efficacy against TB bacteria becomes weak.
• As of 2019, there were 692 people with drug resistant TB. The number as of 2022 was 752. Some 552 patients are currently on treatment.
The Ministry of Health has warned of increasing cases on drug resistant TB in the country.
Health CS Susan Wafula on Friday said that as of 2019, there were 692 people with drug resistant TB.
The number as of 2022 was 752. Some 552 patients are currently on treatment.
Drug-resistant TB occurs when bacteria become resistant to the drugs used to treat the disease, and as such, the drug's efficacy against TB bacteria becomes weak.
Ministry data shows TB is the fourth cause of death in Kenya claiming nearly 33,000 lives annually.
In 2019, about 140,000 people fell ill with the disease while 86,504 were reported and treated, among them 8,391 (9.7 per cent) children below 15 years.
“TB diagnosis, medicines and nutritional support are offered free of charge in all government and faith-based health facilities, but there are still many people with TB who are missed,” Wafula said.
Kenya on Friday joined the rest of the world in marking World TB Day.
The day is commemorated annually on March 24 and is designed to raise public awareness about the disease.
This year’s global World TB Day theme is Yes! We can end TB and it calls for togetherness in the fight against the disease.
According to the CS, there are 4,500 treatment and diagnostic sites across the country and 300 TB control zones that are managed by TB and leprosy coordinators.
This is in an effort to ensure that TB diagnosis, treatment and care is brought closer to Kenyans by decentralising diagnostic and treatment sites.
“We are aware that TB patients have been known to face catastrophic costs while seeking treatment and care,” CS Wafula said.
"In the spirit of UHC, the targets is to have zero families facing catastrophic costs due to TB thus the need to provide financial protection," she added.
The CS acknowledged that more investments towards supporting the rollout of WHO-recommended TB preventive treatment options and shorter TB treatment regimens are important.
She said investing in rapid molecular diagnostics and tests for TB infection, other innovations and digital tools will lead to improvements in health outcomes and save millions of lives.