Uganda Should Address Relationship Between HIV, TB, Health Experts Say
The Ugandan government needs to take increased action to prevent deaths among people living with both HIV and tuberculosis, health experts said last week at the launch of the country's National TB/HIV Policy and Communications Strategy, Uganda's New Vision reports. According to Sam Zaramba, director-general of health services in Uganda, the government has taken steps to reduce Uganda's HIV prevalence and provide more than 64,000 people with access to antiretroviral drugs, but it has made little effort to address TB/HIV coinfection in the country. He added that TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS, causing 30% of all deaths among HIV-positive people in the country. Other experts at the program's launch called for the inclusion of HIV prevention and care in Uganda's national TB control program. According to Francis Adatu, director of the national TB and leprosy program, the country's TB control program serves as a vital component of efforts to increase access to antiretrovirals. He added that Uganda's HIV/AIDS program provides an opportunity to reach national and global TB control targets. "The HIV/AIDS and TB control programs should therefore ensure that the planning, monitoring and evaluation takes into consideration TB/HIV collaborative activities," Adatu said, adding, "This will ensure a comprehensive package for TB and HIV/AIDS care to coinfected patients" (Ouma, New Vision, 5/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.