Lokipoto –2nd July 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

The County Department of Health and Sanitation has commenced its cross-border tuberculosis (TB) screening outreaches, in conjunction with the Centre for Health Solutions (CHS), targeting the migratory populations along the Kenyan-Ugandan border.

Using the One Health approach, the first integrated outreach was conducted in Lokipoto, Letea Ward – Turkana West Sub-county. This outreach marked the first one under the USAID-funded Tuberculosis Implementation Framework Agreement (TIFA); with CHS as the implementer.

During the three-day outreach held at Lokipoto Dispensary, TB screening was provided using X-ray and sputum samples. Other medical services included outpatient care, antenatal care (ANC), and immunization services.

By the end of the outreach, 540 individuals sought human health services, with 264 screened for TB. Some of the ailments treated malaria, skin diseases, and common infections while the lab services were able to conduct ANC profiles. Additionally, 29,098 livestock were vaccinated and dewormed.

Director of Preventive and Promotive, Dr Bonventure Ameyo, stated that community-level screening would increase case notifications, assisting in reducing TB cases in the county.

“The next step is to further intensify defaulter tracing to address multi-drug resistant TB and, of course, the spreading of the disease,” he said.

He emphasized that the completion of treatment and increased case notification should be key focus areas of the TB program.

Dr. Irungu Karugah of CHS noted that community-level contact tracing would also lead to more TB patients being identified and enrolled for treatment.

Under the program, 13 health facilities along the border have been engaged to plan for future outreaches, according to Dr. Job Okemwa, the County Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Diseases Coordinator.

Other partners who supported the activity included the International Rescue Committee-Core Group Partners’ Project, the Kenya Red Cross Society, and the USAID Imarisha Jamii Program.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024