By Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiative
Katumba Rogers is a resident of Kireka. We found him at Reach Out Mbuya as he went to pick his refill for Tuberculosis drugs.
“I don’t know where I got TB from and cannot remember where I possibly got the sickness from. By the time I came here, I was in a bad condition. I had fallen sick. For 2 months, I was not eating, not drinking, and with swollen legs. I was 45Kgs and now am 85Kgs.”
He adds, “I was given a lot of medicine and the team at Reach Out Mbuya would visit me weekly. I was told to drink a lot of water and eat fruits in plenty. The doctors at Reach Out Mbuya told me to always take the medicine on time which I did and now am fine and back to work, supporting my family. To those with TB, it is curable, cooperate with the doctors, and please do not relocate while on treatment because this hinders contact tracing or if it is inevitable, inform the doctors about your new location.” he says.
Katumba was part of 5,211 presumptive cases that were referred for evaluation.
And of these 767 were diagnosed with TB and 748 were started on treatment (August 2018 to Sept 2020).
Although this seems to be an achievement, few people in Katumba’s TB status can access such timely treatment.
Dr. Gerald Mboowa, a researcher and lecturer at Makerere University says that there is a need for a strategy to ensure that all TB patients are enrolled on to treatment and are monitored for their adherence to reduce cases of multi-drug-resistant TB.
The WHO estimates that in 2018, nearly 10 million people around the world developed TB and 1.5 million people died from the disease, including 251,000 people who also had HIV.
In Uganda, TB is the leading cause of death in people living with HIV. TB usually affects the lungs, though symptoms can develop in other parts of the body. This is more common in people with weakened immune systems. In Uganda, the prevalence of MDR-TB in 2015 was estimated to be 1.6% among newly diagnosed TB cases and 12% among previously treated TB cases.