Experts Project Increase in Tuberculosis Deaths

Health researchers are anticipating that more Ugandans are likely to die of Tuberculosis (TB) — a bacterial disease that attacks the lungs – which is one of the major killers in the least developed countries.

Researchers at Makerere University warn that TB remains a big problem in Uganda due to three key barriers; budgetary constraints, knowledge and awareness as well as stigma from both clinicians and community.

There is also concern that the health workers and stake holders are not paying enough attention to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB, which is currently killing more than half of the infections.

Wilber Sabiiti, the chairman Tuberculosis Working Together to Enforce Diagnosis Efforts (TWENDE), while addressing the media today at Mulago hospital announced that the organization will soon be putting out a comprehensive report on the disease.

Dr Sabiiti said that in their research they found that there is low public awareness of TB which has led to aggravated levels of stigma from both clinicians and community.

TB, according to Sabiiti, remains high on Uganda’s disease burden with a total of 87,000 new cases registered every year, around 50 per cent of which succumb to the disease.

The researchers made a number of recommendations including; innovative fundraising to expand budget allocation to healthcare and research, coordination with implementing partners to harness resources by eliminating duplication of services as well as having refresher training programmes for health workers.

The research says availability of accurate diagnostic and treatment tools on the market can increase accessibility by the patient communities who most need them.

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