New Guidelines to Manage Tuberculosis and Asthma Launched in Kenya

The Ministry of Health Director General, Dr Patrick Amoth on Monday launched revised key policy documents that will guide the management of Tuberculosis and Asthma in the country.

Child receiving Tuberculosis medicine in South Sudan with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNDP. Photo: UNDP South Sudan/Brian Sokol

The Kenyan government in partnership with United States Agency for International Development and World Health Organization has launched a revised document that will guide the management of Tuberculosis (TB) and Asthma in the country.

The policy which comprises four key documents addressing Lung Health includes the Public-Private Mix (PPM) Action Plan 2021-2023, Kenya National Asthma Management Guidelines, Interim Management Guide for Tuberculosis (TB), and Covid-19, and Integrated TB, Leprosy, and Lung Disease Guideline.

Dr. Patrick Amoth, the Ministry of Health Acting Director-General noted that TB continues to be a major public health concern with Kenya being ranked among the high burden of TB and TB/HIV.

“The Covid-19 has threatened years of progress towards control of the TB epidemic,” said Dr. Amoth, during the launch of the guidelines Tuesday in Nairobi ahead of the World TB-day scheduled for March 24, 2022.

“In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic that has put end TB progresses at risk, it is critical to ensure equitable access to prevention and care as we envisage to achieve Universal Health Coverage,” he added.

We Need to Look Harder for Tuberculosis, No One is Safe

In Kenya, it is estimated that about 150,000 people are diagnosed with TB annually, with about 60 percent of patients placed on treatment, according to the National Tuberculosis Program.

In 2020, Kenya recorded 72,943 TB cases, 5,663 cases (8 percent) of which were infections, were pediatrics. Amoth revealed that the 2016 prevalence survey showed that the country nearly missed 40 percent of the estimated cases and that it was paramount that everyone is engaged in the fight against TB.

The PPM Action Plan 2021-2023 has three pillars among them effective leadership and stewardship, optimized delivery, and monitoring and evaluation of PPM interventions will increase the number of private facilities offering TB services.

Amoth said the PPM collaboration was important as it improves early TB diagnosis irrespective of where the patients first seek care, in the health system, and establish mechanisms that allow for efficient and high-quality diagnosis and treatment.

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