Kiambu County hosted the commemoration of World TB day at Thika Stadium on 22nd March 2019.
During the event graced by Health CS Sicily Kariuki and the Kiambu County First Lady H.E. Susan Ndung’u, the 2019-2023 National Strategic Plan (NSP) for tuberculosis, leprosy and lung health was unveiled. The NSP lays out the strategic and technical direction for the elimination of TB and Leprosy nationally. This year’s apt theme is ‘It’s time for a TB Free Kenya’.
Health CS Sicily Kariuki said that the just unveiled strategy would ensure a patient centred approach to TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. It essentially calls for the elimination of fees associated with diagnostic testing for TB, including chest radiography services.
“This is in line with His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta commitment to diagnose and cure at least 597,000 people with TB by the year 2023, including 55,000 children, 542,000 adults and 4,500 people with Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) TB in addition to providing TB Preventive Therapy to at least 900,000 Kenyans at risk,” the CS emphasized. The initiative will be piloted in Kiambu County.
In Kiambu County, TB is the 9th leading cause of death.
In 2018, over 5,000 people were infected with TB and over 200 people died of TB. TB testing and treatment is available free of charge in all Kiambu health facilities.
Kiambu county health CECM Mary Kamau noted that Kiambu hospitals have a constant supply of TB medicines which are accessible to the entire population. In addition, supply of medicines for drug resistant TB is constantly available for patients.’
Kiambu also can leverage on community health workers to track and refer all people with TB to the health facility for timely diagnosis and treatment. Community Health Workers represent an existing resource that can reach individual households and patients.
In collaboration with the national government, Kiambu County has gene-xpert machines, diagnostic tool that can rapidly detect tuberculosis within two hours and is much better at identifying TB cases than the traditional microscopy method. There are currently 6 of these machines distributed equitably across the county in Thika level 5 hospital, Gatundu level 5 hospital, Kiambu level 5 hospital, Tigoni level 4 hospital, PCEA Kikuyu hospital and AIC Kijabe Hospital.
Kiambu County has made efforts to find all missing TB cases, ultimately to reduce TB transmission, TB related deaths and improving treatment outcomes. The county has observed that enhancing facility-based active case finding accords with this opportunity.
IT’S TIME FOR A TB FREE KIAMBU; IT’S TIME FOR A TB FREE KENYA