REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Kenya launches new policies to stop TB Nairobi, Tuesday June 30, 2020

The Ministry of Health, today launched two key policy documents to guide the efforts in ending TB in the country.

The Kenya Injectable Free Regimens and Latent TB Infection (LTBI) Treatment policies were launched by the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman, who highlighted that the two policies are key to the ministry’s strategic goal of ridding the country of TB by 2030 as envisaged in vision 2030 and the SDGs.

Dr. Aman explained that the Kenya Injectable Free Regimens speaks to the rollout of a regimen for treatment of MDR-TB that is devoid of injections in line with the WHO’s call to eliminate injectables from the MDR-TB treatment regimen to improve treatment outcomes.

The second policy document, Latent TB Infection (LTBI) Treatment addresses preventive treatment of latent TB infection offered to individuals at risk of developing active TB. “Preventive treatment has proven to be effective intervention to curtail development of active TB disease,” he noted.

TB remains a global and national public health concern. Globally, 104 million people are infected with TB of which nearly 1.5 million die each year. In Kenya, TB is the fifth leading cause of death.

“In 2019, we reported and treated 86,504 cases of TB of which approximately 10% are children,’ he noted and explained that Drug-resistant TB costs have been on the rise with 688 such cases in the country as of 2019.

Dr. Aman added that despite TB diagnosis and treatment being offered free of charge in public and FBO facilities, not all that are infected with TB are reached and therefore do not receive the care they need.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government has been highlighting other diseases, that compound the problem of the virus. “We have observed that the disease can be severe in people with other underlying conditions.  Some of these comorbidities, such as diabetes, cancer, TB, hypertension, HIV, have been part of the overall health promotion strategy of the Ministry,” he noted.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Rudi Eggers also noted that TB is a preventable and treatable lung disease that continues to ravage many vulnerable populations households and communities in Kenya and across Africa.

“Nearly 2.5 million people contracted TB in sub-Saharan Africa last year and more than 660,000 died of the disease,” he said adding that in Kenya , the national strategic plan to Control TB was launched one year ago with the aim of at least curing 597,000 cases of TB by 2023.

“With these new policies, Kenya has dramatically changed TB situation among people living with HIV, contacts of TB patients and  high risk population as this will ensure latent TB infections are treated and  protected from developing active disease.

“As Covid 19 outbreak escalates in Kenya, it’s important that essential health services such as TB treatment, immunization ,maternal and child health and other services are maintained and  even  while all is being done to slow  down the rate of Covid let us  not leave behind the treatment of diseases that  cause long standing and ongoing suffering,” Dr. Egger said.

Dr. Gerald Macharia, the Country representative of  Clinton health access initiative (CHAI) they are in support of policy guidelines and they have donated 43,000 treatment of latent TB and out of that 4,000 are already in country and have been distributed in various health facilities.

“We have committed to working hard  towards lowering the cost of these  treatments  from the current Ksh 4500 per treatment  towards bringing it down to Ksh 1,500 per treatment,” he said .

 

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr.Rashid Aman briefing the media on update of Coronavirus in the Country and response measures at Afya House today and confirmed that 176 people tested positive making a total of 6366 cases in the country.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr.Rashid Aman [centre ] holds a copy of document during the launch of the Kenya Latent Tuberculosis Infection Policy 2020 and Introduction of the Injectable Free Regimens 2020. Today at Afya House.

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Ministry of Health,
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Telephone: +254-20-2717077
Email: ps@health.go.ke