The Ministry of Health and Makerere University School of Public Health yesterday commissioned a national Survey that seeks to establish the burden of Tuberculosis in Uganda.
The 18-month study that is set to start in August, is expected to create a reliable data or estimates of the number of people living with tuberculosis as well as those who get infected annually.
Currently, the Ministry of Health relies on estimates done by other international bodies such as the World Health Organisation, whose estimates according to the Minister for Health in-charge of General Duties, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, are sometimes wrong and do not depict the true picture of TB in Uganda.
Prof David Serwadda, the chairperson of the survey committee, said the estimates from the survey will be ideal for effective planning, monitoring of the impact of interventions as well as assessment of progress to effective control and prevention of TB.
The $3 million (Shs 7.99b) project funded under the Global Fund will enroll more than 40,000 people in 57 districts randomly selected across the country.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the equipment to be used in the exercise recently, Dr Tumwesigye said the survey will provide population-based TB data and an opportunity to accurately measure the prevalence of TB.
It will also measure the prevalence of tobacco smoking to determine the number of TB patients who smoke tobacco. “The current global estimates of TB in Uganda are based on mathematical modelling and does not accurately reflect the burden of disease, raising the level of uncertainty,” said Dr Tumwesigye.
The WHO Country Representative, Dr Wondi Alemu, said once the survey is completed, Uganda will be more appropriately positioned to plan its TB response.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor