Mobile TB clinics helping bring the disease burden down

In Summary
  • Mobile TB vans, funded by the US government via USAID, reach hundreds of patients in Acholi sub region.
  • Dr. Olum John Paul notes success in bringing TB services closer, reducing the disease burden.
  • USAID programs, like contact tracing, contribute to a notable improvement in the region's TB treatment success.
US Ambassador at The Mobile TB Van
Image: Kevin Troy

TB Health experts in the Acholi sub region say they have been able to reach hundreds of patients with the mobile TB clinic services.

Dr. Olum John PAUL who is a TB technical officer in the region says the 5 vans procured by the US government though USAID have supported them in bringing services closer to the community hence bringing the disease burden down, adding that these are drawn from the Ministry of health on request.

Currently the National TB burden stands at 192 cases per 100,000 population which is almost the same in the Acholi sub region, a fact that has pushed the health officials to bring services closer to the community.

“Commonly we see a number of TB patients who don’t feel really sick lazy to walk to the health facilities but with the mobile vans we are able to reach such people and start them off on treatment, “says Dr. Olum

“We also have USAID supported programs in the region such as contact tracing and community screening activities as well as the nationwide implemented cast campaigns which have really been instrumental in  reaching the missed TB patients at the facilities”, he added

He says over the past 3 years there is a tremendous improvement in the treatment success rate in the region.

Dr. Olum mentions that finding those infected and putting them on treatment is   one of the major ways to address the TB burden as it also prevents the healthy ones from catching the disease.

We record 80 positive cases on a weekly basis from both private and public facilities within the region, and with the support from USAID we shall have each patient treated and saved from TB, he affirms.

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease and presents with persistent cough, weight loss, high fever, tiredness and fatigue and loss of appetite among others.