Rwanda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2021 World tuberculosis under the theme “The Clock Is Ticking.”
The day is designed to increase awareness of the public about the tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment and prevention in order to ensure that any Rwandan suffering from h tuberculosis as access to adequate tuberculosis care, including diagnosis, treatment and cure.
The control to fight tuberculosis in Rwanda have made a good progress and impressive achievements up to date due to a strong political commitment of the Government of Rwanda, as well as the participation of the community. Efforts were made to reach tuberculosis patients with accurate tuberculosis e diagnosis and effective treatment.
Rwanda has made a significant progress in tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment and prevention over years.
Based on Word Health Organization (WHO) Global tuberculosis reports, the incidence of tuberculosis in Rwanda has decreased from 96 patients per 100.000 population in 2000 to 57 patients per 100.000 population, published in the latest WHO Global TB report in 2020. This decline of tuberculosis incidence in Rwanda represents a decrease of 41% in last 20 years.
In terms of tuberculosis screening and diagnosis, there has been an extension of high sensitive s tuberculosis screening and diagnosis by revising tools including new strategy for systematic chest X-Ray as screening tool for people living with HIV newly enrolled with aim to reduce undetected cases tuberculosis and promote early diagnosis.
Currently across the country, 69 GeneXpert machines are in use for tuberculosis diagnosis in all hospitals and in some health centers with high tuberculosis notification rate.
Regarding tuberculosis management and treatment outcomes, tuberculosis commodities are generally and consistently available at health facilities level for patients’ treatment. Among 5,678 tuberculosis patients all forms susceptible and drug resistant patients: 76 were all initiated on treatment during 2019-2020 fiscal year. A good treatment success rate was registered for susceptible tuberculosis patients (86.4%) and 86.7% for Rifampicin Resistance/Multi Drug Resistant tuberculosis patients notified for the cohort of 2018-2019 fiscal year. The target is to reach and go above 90% of treatment success rate.
Actually as the global target is to end by tuberculosis 2035 as one of the indicator 3.3 of SDGs, Rwanda will continue to work and ensure that it’s contributing to reach the target.
World Tuberculosis Day, commemorated on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one and a half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. It celebrates the day in 1882 when Doctor Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the tuberculosis bacillus.