The Ministry of Health has handed over four GeneXpert machines to Uganda Prisons Service in order to increase diagnosis and detection of Tuberculosis among prisoners in Uganda.
According to the officials,TB is the biggest cause of death among prisoners in Uganda therefore the additional machines will provide an opportunity for expanded capacity for TB diagnosis and detection of the resistant strains among inmates allowing for prompt initiation of treatment.
According to Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Health, recent studies show that TB prevalence is 10 times more in our prisons than in the general population.
She said this is due to over congestion among other factors thus the need for timely testing and treatment if found with TB.
Atwine said the machines will reduce turnaround time for samples taken for TB from inmates and staff.
The machines were received by the Commissioner General, Uganda Prison Services, Dr Johnson Byabashaija.
The handover was presided over by Atwine; Director General Health Services, Dr Henry G. Mwebesa, Commissioner in charge of Laboratory Services, Dr Susan Nabbada, Asst. Commissioner in charge of National TB and Leprosy Program, Dr Stavia Turyahabwe.