Health experts say that 50% of the patients suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) do not show any symptoms and they are living freely in the community spreading the disease unknowingly.
According to a researcher at the World Alliance for Lung and Intensive Care Medicine in Uganda (WALIMU), Dr.Achillis Katamba, for the last several years, the country has been using various strategies to overcome the burden of the disease, but little has been achieved to get rid of the disease.
“They are living freely in the community, without realizing that they have Tuberculosis, they have no symptoms like cough, and their respective families don’t know that they have the disease,” Dr Katamba said.
He underscored the need for researchers to re-think and come up with new innovations to ease the treatment of the disease, which will also ensure that patients easily access medication on time.
He is optimistic that making TB treatment people-centered will help to eliminate the disease.
However, the executive director of the World Alliance for Lung and Intensive Care Medicine in Uganda (WALIMU), Dr. Kenya Mugisha says the current treatment methods must be re-examined and a new Tuberculosis care treatment strategy must be put in place to stop the spread of the disease.
Dr. Henry Luzze, the principal medical officer for the National TB and Leprosy program at the Ministry of Health says in the country, 90,000 new TB patients are being registered each year in Uganda and about 5000 of them miss out on treatment, explaining that this must be addressed.
Uganda is one of the world’s thirty (30) high-burden countries for TB and HIV co-infection. Each year, approximately 91,000 people in Uganda get TB with 32% of them being HIV-infected.