40% of TB cases in Kenya remain undetected and untreated

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Media briefing on Tuberculosis survey in Kenya, in Nairobi
Media briefing on Tuberculosis survey in Kenya, in Nairobi

The Ministry of Health has completed the first post-independence Tuberculosis prevalence survey, and preliminary results show that Kenya’s TB burden is higher than previous estimated. “There is a need for an increased budget,” Hon Stephen Mule, a Bio-medical engineer said, citing that since the number of patients has doubled, and more funds are needed from the government.

In 2015, 10 Counties had higher TB case notification accounting for 48% of the total notified cases. However, Kenya was recognized as the first country in Africa to achieve WHO global targets of detecting 70% and treating 85% of these TB cases successfully.

Dr Maurice Maina from USAID said that the US government is a committed partner of Kenya in TB funding and that they are working to ensure there is proper funding and are giving reports so they can look at funding gaps and bring new cases that are currently missing, under treatment.

40% of TB cases remain undetected and untreated
40% of TB cases remain undetected and untreated

Dr Jane Nabongo said that 40% of TB cases remain undetected and untreated and she urged Kenyans to go for screening early enough given that the missing cases are in the community and in working places.

She further said that not all Tuberculosis patients are HIV positive. She said that their statistics have it that 83% of those infected with TB are HIV negative and that those patients should not be stigmatized but taken care of instead.