One out of ten people with TB in Geita is a child

A TOTAL of 403 children have been diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) infections in the Geita Region, a number that is equal to 10 per cent of the 4,375 patients, who were confirmed to be infected in 2022.

The Acting Regional Administrative Secretary, Dr Steven Mwaisobwa made the remarks recently at the occasion to mark TB week which was held at Lwamugasa village in Geita District.

He said that among the 4,375 patients diagnosed in 2022, 15 patients were found to have resistant chronic TB infections.

He added, in efforts to fight against TB infections for the past five years, Geita Region has been able to cure 96 per cent of TB patients, who were identified and diagnosed.

“We have the responsibility to reach them, identify them and take them to treatments, because a single undiagnosed TB patient can probably infect 10 to 20 people a year,” he said.

Dr Mwaisobwa said the region aims to eradicate TB infections by 2030 by achieving the goal of having less than 10 patients per 100,000 people, from current 300 patients per 100,000 people currently.

The Coordinator of the TB Control campaign in Geita Region, Dr Michael Mashala said that approximately 30 to 38 per cent of TB patients are people living with HIV infections.

“This clearly shows that HIV infection significantly lowers the immune system and makes a person susceptible to tuberculosis,” he said.

He noted that other groups mostly at risk of TB infections in the Geita Region are artisanal and small-scale miners and fishermen as they do live in slums and in large crowds.

USAID Afya Shirikishi Project Coordinator from Amref International, Ms Waida Ramadhan said through community health service providers they have been able to reach, identify and diagnose many TB patients in Geita Region.

“For the year 2022, the Afya Shirikishi Project has been able to identify about 1,470 cases of tuberculosis equally to 33.5 percent of all the patients identified and diagnosed in Geita Region,” Ms Ramadhan said.

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