Gov’t Tips Ugandans On Multi-Drug Resistant TB

information pills geneva; font-size: small;”>“Currently, sickness there are 294 registered cases of MDR-TB. The MDR-TB develops during treatment of drug-sensitive TB and is caused partly due to failure to complete the full course of treatment or when a patient takes the wrong treatment or dose or encounters interruption of TB treatment,” Dr. D.K.W. Lwamafa, the Director General of Health Services has noted.

He noted that Uganda is ranked 16th among the 22 High burden countries with an overall burden of TB cases estimated at about 102,000 new TB cases of all forms per year.

In this, he said, close to 50,000 are new infectious TB cases that transmit TB from one parson to another. Besides, some of tuberculosis infections are associated with HIV infections.

The country at the moment is able to diagnose about 50,000 (49,018 in 2011) and the other 50,000 remain detected partly due to poor health seeking behavior by the population.

The Ministry of Health now goes on to clarify that the country has the required TB diagnostic capacity and treatment policy guidelines to manage and control Multi-Drug Resistant in the country.

These policies have been instrumental in guiding the prevention and treatment of TB cases in the country.

Even then, due to the complex nature of diagnosing MDR –TB, the cases are currently being diagnosed at the National TB Reference laboratory in Kampala and not at ordinary hospitals or health centres.


Health facilities only take specimen samples from TB patients suspected to have Multi-Drug Resistant and send them to the National TB Reference laboratory (NTRL) in Kampala.

Of the 294 Multi-Drug Resistant TB patients already diagnosed country wide, some have already been started on treatment at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Arua Regional Referral Hospital and Kitgum Hospital.

The director however goes on to state that there are Plans that are underway to commence treatment at Mbarara, Mbale and Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospitals as soon as the prerequisite capacities at the sites are built. The Ministry of Health has for the last two years been working with MSF Holland in Kitgum and MSF France in Arua in the treatment of MDR patients.

According to the available documentation, the Ministry of Health in May 2012 procured the first batch of second line anti-TB medicines for the management of Multi-Drug Resistant TB worth Ug Shs 719,333,222 for 100 patients.

“An additional supply of 200 courses worth Ug Shs 1,220,440,594 is expected by mid September 2012 under the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) support to Uganda.” He continued to note.

Care takers of the different infected people are advised to seriously monitor those on treatment due to the fact that Patients on susceptible TB treatment are advised to complete their course and schedules as prescribed by trained health workers to avoid developing MDR-TB.


This can be achieved through good treatment adherence and completing TB medicines for 6 to 8 months, ensuring constant supply of medicines, the right dose of TB medicines for a complete treatment period.

TB treatment is free in all public, NGO health facilities and some private clinics accredited to do so by the Ministry of Health.

The general public is urged to identify and refer TB suspects persons with cough for 2 weeks or more, associated with fevers, weight loss and excessive night sweats including all people Living with HIV/AIDS who have a cough as potential TB patients and should urge them to visit the nearby health facility for TB testing and appropriate management.

To end his brief he confidently stated that the Ministry of Health is committed to providing anti TB drugs to all the people of Uganda. These drugs continue to be availed along with other medical products through the National Medical Stores.

On research, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with academic research institutions continues to conduct research on the scope of Multi-Drug Resistance for focused management. Health facilities are requested to make their requisitions on time to NMS within NMS delivery schedules to avoid drug shortages.

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