World Vision in conjunction with TRAC Plus, yesterday commissioned a US$315,000 TB REACH project to combat the disease in several parts of the country.
The one-year project funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) through World Vision Canada will operate in the four districts of Gasabo, Nyamagabe, Gicumbi and Bugesera.
Dr. Michel Gasana, the Director of TB Unit in TRUC Plus who presided over the launch, observed that in the past years, TB cases were on the increase as a result of poverty and HIV infections.
Of the 7,644 TB cases reported last year, 34 percent of them were HIV positive, according to the statistics from TRAC Plus.
“This project should therefore have an impact on the ground to combat the epidemic,” Gasana noted.
Currently, TB drugs are given out free of charge, but Gasana said that some people, most of them in rural areas, don’t come for them even when they have been found infected while other others don’t go for medical checkups alleging that they were bewitched.
He appealed to health authorities in districts and hospitals to work together with World Vision in realizing their goals.
TB is slated to have reduced by 50 percent by the year 2015 in the country.
Pascal Karemera, the Director of Quality Assurance at World Vision, called for further partnership with all concerned departments to promote better health.