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Uganda: Health Experts Demand More Funds to Fight TB

Health experts in Bugisu and Bukedi sub-regions have asked the government to increase funds allocated for the fight against Tuberculosis (TB).

Ms Damalie Waiswa, the regional TB/leprosy focal person, said case finding is becoming difficult due to limited facilitation.

"The TB cases are on the rise, especially in the rural areas. In the last quarter term, we registered 1,303 cases in both regions," she said.

Ms Waiswa made the remarks during a regional advocacy workshop for TB and leprosy diseases organised by Uganda Stop TB partnership (USTP), a non-governmental organisation, in Mbale City at the weekend.

The official further told Daily Monitor that health officials in districts allocate only 5 percent towards fighting TB out of the 30 percent budget allocated for health promotion.

Mr Yosam Koori, the TB contact tracing officer for Programme for Accessible Health and Communication, a non-profit organisation, said TB has not been given enough attention by government.

"Community awareness against TB is very low and this has led to increased transmission. There is also low suspicion index of TB among health workers," he said.

Mr Robert Nakibumba, an activist against TB, said most of the health facilities lack diagnostic equipments.

"The budget allocation for TB in the districts is very little, which hinders the implementation of set activities," he said. Mr Nakibumba called for sensitisation and awareness campaigns agaianst TB.

Mr Siraji Kizito, the district health officer for Butaleja District, said: "Health workers should be trained on how to detect and prescribe medication."

Mr Emmanuel Dombo, the officer-in-charge of communications at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretariat, said the government is committed to fighting TB.

"TB is a very serious deadly disease that has affected many people silently in the communities, but as the NRM government, we are committed to fighting it," he said.