Kenya calls on Tanzania for TB drugs

KENYA: KENYA has sought the help of Tanzania to bridge the shortage of Tuberculosis drugs, according Kenyan Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Wafula Nakhumicha.

The CS was quoted saying the country has experienced shortages since October last year and has put up measures to ensure constant supply to government hospitals including changes from a single supplier to multiple suppliers are addressed.

“Towards the end of September and October last year we had a shortage of TB medication, but we went out of our way to the extent that we got support from our neighbouring country- Tanzania and we got sufficient stocks which have now been distributed,” she pointed out.

CS Nakhumicha said the government was working to ensure that its medical stocks are adequate so that no patient misses his/her medication.

She stated that with the support all the public hospitals will have received the drugs by the end of January this year.

“We have also worked on our supply chain and we are expecting that right now the stocks should be adequate and we will be receiving further stocks by February to ensure that patients are covered,” she noted.

Tanzania marked the World TB Day in 2023, with the launch of the Multisectoral Accountability Framework to end TB (MAF TB) in Simiyu region, Northern central Tanzania.

The high-level launch was graced by the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa and attended by the health minister and partners involved in TB response in Tanzania.

The framework aims to enhance collaboration and accountability from all key stakeholders including policy makers towards the target of eliminating TB by 2030.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) provided technical assistance throughout the process of developing the framework and supported advocacy efforts for its adoption.

Tanzania was among the 117 countries that adopted the Moscow Declaration to End TB at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB in 2017 and committed to “supporting the development of a Multisectoral Accountability Framework” to accelerate progress to end TB.

Further global commitments to MAF TB were provided with political declarations made at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB (UN HLM on TB) in September 2018.

To pledge commitment and accountability in their respective sectors, a total of 23 Ministries signed the Multisectoral Accountability Framework to end TB (MAF TB) in Tanzania.

The framework is a call to galvanize efforts to end TB beyond the health sector to end the TB epidemic in Tanzania.

Vulnerable groups such as prisoners or people in police custody, miners, healthcare workers, school pupils, refugees, or internally displaced people facing increased risk of TB will be reached with prevention and treatment services.

The overarching aim of MAF-TB is to attain a multisectoral approach to TB beyond the health sector by identifying high level political commitments, strategic interventions to achieve stated commitments and a monitoring and reporting framework to track progress related to commitments and actions.

Ministerial commitments aim at achieving national targets of ending the TB epidemic in Tanzania by 2030 through multiple actions including dismantling structural barriers that foster TB stigma and discrimination.

Following the launch, MAF-TB will be operationalized from national to sub-national levels through a coordination structure within the Prime Minister’s Office comprised of a national ministers’ forum, a national steering committee and a national technical committee.

“We need to come together in charting out strategies to fight TB. If everyone plays their part in this battle against TB, we can confidently break the chain of its new infections, including preventing unnecessary deaths, since the disease is preventable and curable,” said the Prime Minister.

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