On Thursday Health Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Rashid Aman, launched tools for Tuberculosis(TB) screening, diagnosis, and prevention to accelerate the national response to eliminate TB by 2030.
“These tools also present a great opportunity for us to undertake research as a country in optimizing gains towards the End TB strategy,” Dr Aman assured.
The CAS highlighted that Covid-19 Pandemic had a negative impact on the gains that the country had started seeing in 2020 in preventing and controlling the TB scourge.
“It is against this backdrop that we came together with our development partners to fund and embrace innovative technologies and accelerate the achievement of our vision,” he noted.
Under the New Tools Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Kenya has benefitted through the following tools for TB screening, diagnosis and prevention: Treatment courses for TB preventative therapy: 3RH regimen to benefit 13,000 persons and 38 TRUENAT point-of-care nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) equipment kits and 77,500 reagents for testing for TB and 15,500 for detecting rifampicin resistance
others will include; 8 Lightweight portable digital chest X-ray equipment kits with accompanying software for the computer-aided detection of TB, 2 interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) machines to aid in detection of TB infection, Medication sleeves for 5,000 patients with TB as part of digital adherence technology and Connectivity solution for all TB diagnostic equipment.
Kenya is one of the seven countries in the world benefiting from this support, Dr. Rashid confirmed and said the support will be availed free of charge to all TB patients.
The medicines supplied will also be used according to WHO and adopted by Country treatment guidelines.
He emphasized that TB case finding and laboratory diagnosis forms the backbone to quality patient care and disease surveillance and underscored the need to equip health care workers with skills and knowledge to operate, service, and interpret patient results for better management of patients.
He also called on all partners to monitor and optimize the use of these tools to help accelerate the achievement of the set indicators and ensure that any TB patient is started on treatment to stop transmission of the disease.