Kenya recorded lower TB cases between 2018 and 2019: report
Kenya, which is among 30 highly burdened countries with tuberculosis (TB) in the world, reported 8.5 percent reduction in cases between 2019 and 2020.
Mr. Samwel Misoi, the Deputy Director of Public Health at the Ministry of Health who is coordinating the Kenya National TB, Leprosy and Lung Disease program, said the data also revealed that 41 out of 47 counties in Kenya recorded a reduction in TB cases.
“Kisumu, Makueni, Lamu and Pokot counties recorded the highest drop,” he said on Monday during a media training session in Kisii.
He noted that they are yet to establish the reason behind the reduction but it is suspected that during the COVID-19 pandemic, use of masks, limited movement may have contributed.
Even though the cases of drug resistance TB also reduced to 86,504 (in 2020) from 96,186 (in 2019), Mr. Misoi said these particular cases are still on the rise in the country.
He said the Department of Health is working on modalities which include proper testing and prescription to deal with the rising cases.
Mr. Misoi further highlighted the need for Kenyans to go for TB testing and also take personal precautions so that they don’t contract the disease.
In Kenya, out of 100,000 people about 426 people have been diagnosed with TB, according to the recent survey.
TB prevalence is high among the people in the active group –that is between the age of 25 and 35–and it is also more dominant among males than females.
Kisii County TB coordinator John Omondi said more men are exposed to TB than women because they engage in many social activities compared to the women.
Symptoms of TB of the lungs include coughing up blood and chest pain; weight loss; night sweats; fever; chills and fatigue.
It is possible to spread the TB bacteria from the infected person to others. A skin or blood test will indicate if a person has been infected with the bacteria.
Treatment involves a combination of drugs taken for six to nine months. Persons with a weak immune system, such as those with HIV or diabetes, are more prone to catching the TB disease.
TB spreads through the air when a person with an active TB infection coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. Germs can stay in the air for hours. TB germs are not spread via sharing food, shaking hands and touching toilet seats.
Additional report from CNN