Rwanda continues to register remarkable success in the fight against Tuberculosis, according Dr. Michel Gasana, the Director of the Tuberculosis Unit in TRAC Plus.
According to statistics based on surveillance in by district, TB cases have gone down from 8,014 in 2007 to 1,769 in the second quarter of 2010.
‘The figures continue to go down, and this is good progress for Rwanda’s efforts to controlling and fight against Tuberculosis,’’ says Dr. Gasana.
The significant reduction of TB cases has put Rwanda among the African countries whose efforts in the fight against Tuberculosis are commendable.
A WHO report ranked Rwanda among the best African countries that have recorded significant success in the fight against Tuberculosis.
The 2008 Global Control report released by the global health body indicates that Rwanda is among three African countries, alongside Kenya and Malawi that have shown positive examples on the continent in scaling down the disease.
Dr. Gasana attributes Rwanda’s success story in curbing Tuberculosis to increased awareness, education campaigns and constant care to TB patients.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that more than 85% of TB patients in Rwanda access treatment on time.
Dr. Gasana adds that other measures such as the One-Stop Model for Tuberculosis/HIV Services Nationwide are among other measures that have helped Rwanda cut down TB cases.
The Ministry of Health, through the National TB Control Program (TRAC Plus TB programme) and partners like ICAP, are now implementing the model at healthcare facilities throughout the country to improve access to testing, care and treatment.
In the recent past, media reports indicated that there were 118 infected students in different universities and secondary schools in Kigali.
However, Dr. Gasana clarified that in actual sense all these cases got treatment and some have finished the treatment.
‘Today we cannot say that we have 118 cases at our universities and secondary schools since all the 118 cases received treatment,’’ he clarified.
‘The situation is not alarming, considering our efforts to curb TB cases, we are on a right path, our aim is to reduce infection cases and transmission through offering timely care and treatment,’’ he asserted.
The official added that this will be attained through mass campaigns aimed at creating awareness about Tuberculosis and how it can be prevented.
Recently, Rwanda received approximately Rwf24bn from the Global Fund to fight against HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
Most of the funds will be spent on strengthening existing TB services through training of health workers, provision of access to voluntary counselling and testing for HIV and mass sensitization of the public.