Ugandan Official Expresses Concern Over Rise In TB, Emergence Of Drug-Resistant Strains

In an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday, Francis Adatu, head of the national leprosy and tuberculosis (TB) program in Uganda, warned that TB “remains a major public health problem” and that multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) has emerged in the country, the news service writes. “‘According to our prevalence survey we found MDR-TB in 1.3 percent among new cases and 12.3 percent among people who have been exposed to drugs or treated over and over again,’ Adatu said,” Xinhua writes, noting that Adatu said treatment for MDR-TB was much more expensive than for drug-susceptible TB.

“In order to combat the scourge, the Uganda government with funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Tuesday distributed 108 specialized microscopes that can be used to diagnose TB,” Xinhua notes (2/29). According to UGPulse, the “Ministry of Health has expressed concern over the increased [number of] cases of [TB] in the country,” and a 2010 WHO report “ranked Uganda 16th among the countries with a high prevalence of TB in Africa” (2/29).