World Tuberculosis Day 2018
On March 24, every year, the world marks World Tuberculosis Day.

Tuberculosis (TB) claims 53,000 lives each year in Kenya– that means that 145 Kenyans die from TB every day! TB remains a major public health problem in Kenya as the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS. This continues to be the case despite the fact that with timely diagnosis and correct treatment, TB can be cured.

In 2017, through a U.S. investment of nearly KSH 3 billion and a collaboration with the National TB and Leprosy Program, the Global Fund, and the World Health Organization (WHO), Kenya achieved a major milestone: completion of the country’s first National TB Prevalence Survey.

The survey showed that half of all persons with TB in Kenya are “missed” – meaning that they are not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. There are roughly 80,000 “missing” TB cases in Kenya each year. These missing cases mean that, not only are these individuals more likely to die from TB, but left untreated, they can spread the illness to their families, their friends and to their communities.

Through USAID support, Kenya is now accessing donated bedaquiline, the first new drug developed to treat patients who suffer from drug-resistant TB, in more than 50 years.

The United States Government has invested $40 million though the Tuberculosis Accelerated Response and Care (TB ARC) activity to support strategic TB program coordination efforts and stewardship; as well as TB diagnostic services including GeneXpert machines.
TB treatment in Kenya is free.

Read U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec’s remarks at Kenya’s national event marking World TB Day 2018:

Photo: Alex Kamweru/USAID
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