Health officials from Turkana and Kapoeta (South Sudan) sought to strengthen the referral system for tuberculosis (TB) patients and screening to prevent spread of the disease on both sides of the border particularly through defaulting.
The TB cross border project, funded by Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and implemented by Kenya Red Cross, is meant to assist countries to realise the end of TB in the region.
Speaking during the Intra and Inter Country Cross Border Collaboration Committee, Daniel Esimit, representing the Director of Preventive and Promotive, called upon the participants to go beyond the system strengthening and integrate other health services such antenatal, immunisation and so on.
As the County Coordinator of TB, Leprosy and Lung Diseases Dr Job Okemwa, pointed out that the efficiency of TB referral system had recently being wavering as the migratory patterns/routes are constantly varying due to climate change. However, Dr Okemwa also added that screening, testing and treatment had improved.
Turkana West Sub-county Administrator, Joseph Napoco, urged the participants to implement the action points agreed upon for the project to have an impact.
John Woja, Country Coordination Mechanism (South Sudan), emphasised the need to nurture ownership of the project at the facilities along the borders for sustainability.
The National TB Program Cross border Coordinator, Wesley Tomno, said that the equipping of the facilities with diagnostic machines was equally important.
In a plenary session, led by Dr Apal Toby Maduot – Director of National TB (South Sudan), the participants agreed on action points under the themes of coordination, referrals, coverage, package of care and integration of services.
Other partner representatives were International Rescue Committee and AIC Health Ministries.