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Kericho Scales up TB Preventive Therapy among Healthcare Workers 

The Kericho County Tuberculosis Disease (TB) Department has begun TB preventive therapy among the healthcare workers after a number of them tested positive for TB at various health facilities within Kericho County.

Speaking during a seminar to review the progress made in prevention and control of TB in Kericho County, the County TB Coordinator Ms. Elizabeth Kirui pointed out that it was vital to protect all the healthcare workers from contracting TB.

The Clinician further said healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers in hospital settings were at greater risk of TB infection since they attended to persons with TB and the TB therapy would be essential to prevent further spread of the disease.

She also said period testing of healthcare workers was ongoing as part of TB control plan as required by the National TB program.

“All persons who come in contact with or potential exposure to TB through shared air or space with infectious patients should be part of a TB screening, testing and treatment program,” said Ms. Kirui

During the two-day seminar that brought together County and Sub County health teams including the TB coordinators, lab coordinators, pharmacists, among other key players in TB, it was revealed that in the last one year, TB prevalence in the County had increased by eight percent.

“After analysing we also realized that we had challenges of commodities which we discussed and way forward on what we are going to do in order to contain the spread of the TB disease,” said Ms Kirui.

The County TB Coordinator said the data analysis indicated that Bureti Sub-County had the highest number of TB cases followed by Kericho East Sub-County.

“We will carry out community outreaches in Bureti Sub-County for three days in March which will involve free screening of TB with the assistance of partners such as Our Lady of Perpetual Support (OLPS) through AMREF Health Africa who will cater for mobile Xray screening centers,” added Ms. Kirui

She also said that the TB team will also carry out free screening of the disease in learning institutions and the prisons in the region noting that prisons could be well established breeding sites for TB especially in settings where no preventive measures are in place and where illicit drug use and drug equipment sharing are common among prisoners.

She assured that her team will continue being active in ensuring that the National TB program that involves Active Case finding, TB testing, treatment, and community sensitization among others is implemented.

“We will commemorate the World TB Day on the 24th March 2023 in Bureti Sub-County and we hope to achieve our objectives in our fight against TB and so we are calling upon the communities within the Sub-County to cooperate with our clinicians as we carry out the free screening,” she said.

According to World Health Organization, TB remains one of the World’s infectious killers. Every day close to 4,400 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventive and curable disease.

Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 74 million lives since 2000.

By Kibe Mburu 

 

 

 

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