Rwanda commemorated the World Tuberculosis Day on March 24 with focus on sensitising the youth in different parts of the country including Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Kicukiro.
The event was characterized by messages encouraging the fight against TB. World Tuberculosis Day is annually celebrated on March 24 to build public awareness on the tuberculosis epidemic, which claims one-and-a-half million people in the world each year, mostly in developing countries.
With the theme: “Unite to End TB”, Rwanda intends to increase public awareness on TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention among Rwandan community. TB patients in Rwanda have access to adequate TB care, including diagnosis, treatment and cure.
The fight against TB in Rwanda has been a success over the years. The trend of TB cases declined since June2 011 from 7230 to 5763TB cases in June 2016, according to a statement from the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC).
Every year, community health worker contribute to 46% and 25% of TB presumptive referred to health facilities and proportion of TB cases identified respectively. RBC says 95% of TB cases followed were successfully treated.
Screening of multi-drug-resistant TB was reinforced among high risk groups especially contacts of TB cases, people infected with HIV and prisoners.
Reliable TB diagnosis capacity is available in three reference laboratories in Rwanda (National Reference Laboratory, Kigali and Butare University Teaching Hospitals), which provide Xpert, LPAs, culture (on solid and liquid media) and drug susceptibility testing for all eligible patients.
Introduction of new diagnostics, in particular rapid tests for detection of multi-drug-resistant -TB decrease a turnaround time for solid culture to liquid culture from 87 days to 8 days.
Meanwhile, Genexpert machines were purchased and installed in all DH to improve the detection of TB and early identification of multi-drug-resistant TB cases. Currently 94% of all co-infected TB/HIV received antiretroviral therapy before the end of TB treatment.