Uganda's TB Infection Rate Alarming, WHO Calls for Emergency Measures
March 27, 2007
The World Health Organization has asked Uganda to declare its TB epidemic a national health emergency, the state-owned New Vision reported Monday.
In the face of 60,000 new infectious TB cases per year, Uganda's diagnosis and treatment rates for new cases last year were at 49 percent and 73 percent, respectively, according to WHO. These fall short of WHO's global goals of early TB detection and treatment rates of 70 percent and 85 percent.
WHO's Uganda representative, George Melville, said his agency and the national government have been working on an emergency plan targeting poorly performing districts. "I urge the Ministry of Health to finalize this, to officially declare TB an emergency in the country and to allocate sufficient resources to implement the plan," Melville said Saturday in comments marking World TB Day.
Uganda ranks 15th among the 22 countries with the world's highest TB burden. The disease especially affects people ages 15-49. WHO's regional director, Luis G. Sambo, said in a statement that in some areas of southern and eastern Africa, over half of TB patients also had HIV, and 40 percent of AIDS deaths were TB-related.
Xinhua News Agency
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.