Health ministry launches new treatment campaign as new Tuberculosis infections surpass HIV

In a bid to curb the Tuberculosis disease burden and risk among people living with HIV, the Ministry of health, World Health Organization in partnership with US Embassy in Uganda have rolled out a Tuberculosis Intermittent Preventive Therapy that will be given to persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Speaking at the launch of the 100 days program, the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng indicated that they intend to reach 300,000 people living with HIV.

With low immunity among persons living with HIV/AIDS tuberculosis was responsible for 940,000 lives lost in the year 2017 which makes it a leading cause of death.

According to the health ministry, more new tuberculosis cases than HIV ones are being registered. 

Aceng revealed that, “The rate of new infections of tuberculosis have super ceded that of HIV. Uganda has 83,000 new infections annually compared to 53,000 for HIV.” 

Aceng is especially concerned because only half of those diagnosed are put on medication.

To avert this emphasis is on ensuring that no person living with HIV/AIDS is infected with tuberculosis through the Isoniazid preventive therapy.

She went on, “We have developed the 100 days accelerated plan, of the 140,000 people with HIV and TB on treatment we hope to have over 300,000 enrolled by October this year.” 

Isoniazid is usually prescribed as a tablet which contains a combination of two, three or four medicines to treat TB. Taking this medicine helps to reduce the total number of tablets you need to take each day.

The program will be supported by WHO and partners. After the initial scale up plan that ends in October, the anti biotic will be available across the country.

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