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Over 400 Mwingi residents are under Tuberculosis treatment

Over 400 TB patients in Mwingi and its environs have successfully completed their treatment at Mwingi Level 4 hospital in the last four years, according to the Sub-County Tuberculosis and Leprosy Coordinator Winfred Ngami.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency at the Skin and Chest Clinic at the hospital, Ngami said that 314 cases of TB were diagnosed in 2016 and over 100 new cases in 2017.
“Out of these patients, six patients have developed multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB because of abandoning treatment. Currently, they are taking their medication from the facility under the watchful eye of a nurse,” said Mrs Ngami.
She lamented that majority of the TB patients are of the reproductive age adding that the disease had severely affected their livelihoods.
“Men comprise, 65 per cent of the 314 cases. Most of these male patients are defaulters who hail from the populous Mavoko informal settlement area in the outskirts of Mwingi town,” said the Sub-County TB Coordinator.
Similarly, she disclosed that 84 per cent of the TB diagnosed at all the medical facilities within Mwingi Central Sub-County is in the infectious form, “an infected person infecting others unknowingly.”
Mrs Ngami observed that out of the 314 cases of TB under treatment, 32 per cent are HIV positive saying, “this data helps to highlight the close relationship of HIV and TB infection.”
Commenting on reversing the gains made in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of TB in the Sub-County, Mrs Ngami said that the ‘Kavonokya’ sect has been at crossroads with medical staff trying to administer TB drugs to patients belonging to the sect.
The TB Coordinator, while expressing gains in reaching remote areas with proper medication, called on the government to increase diagnostic centres from the current seven to double the number out of the 38 facilities.
“The burden of TB notification rate in Kenya is 480 per 100,000 persons whereas in Mwingi Central the burden is 200 per 100,000 persons,” she said.
“We appeal for the establishment of additional new diagnostic centres spread evenly across Kitui County to hasten the screening process to establish those infected for treatment,” said Mrs Ngami.
By Yobesh Onwong’a/Titus Mutuku

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