Gulu records 1,096 screened cases of Tuberculosis
Gulu—30, August 2021: Gulu district and Gulu city say they have recorded 1,096 screened cases of tuberculosis (TB) in only 12 months. This date is available with the District Health Information System.
William Onyai, the Gulu district senior health educator, disclosed that 104 people died within the same period.
“The problem we are having is that the presumed and suspected people who show signs of tuberculosis do not go for TB testing at the different health facilities,” says Onyai.
Onyai added that failure by someone not to treat TB can cause drug resistant tuberculosis, which is very hard and expensive for one to treat and it may cause death.
Onyai, however, said TB treatment unit could not follow up with 83 TB patients who may have either reallocated to another place without the consent of the health facilities, or others might have intentionally left medication for no reason.
“Gulu city has the largest numbers of patients falling out of treatment compared to Gulu district, and this might be due to negligence by the people about the prevalence of HIV/AIDs,” added Onyai.
Gulu district and Gulu city have a total of 69 health facilities that offer tuberculosis treatment with GeneXpert machines at Awach health center IV, Gulu military hospital, Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and St. Mary’s hospital Lacor, which offer free TB testing according to Onyai.
He noted that the GeneXpert machine can test TB even from the saliva and people should protect themselves from TB through avoiding overcrowding, covering mouth and nose while sneezing, and putting on face mask as we are fighting against both Covid-19 and TB and signs of TB include body pain, chest pain, swelling, difficulty in breathing among others.
In March this year, Uganda Radio Network (URN) reported that over 40 percent of TB patients in Gulu abandoned treatment due to lack of food.
Jacob Ojok, the TB focal person for Gulu district told URN that in their recent follow up on those who had dropped out of treatment, the patients confessed that they could not continue with treatment because of lack of food and distance from their home to the health facilities.