31 August 2010

Rwanda: Regional TB Experts Meet in Kigali

Kigali — A regional Tuberculosis (TB) control workshop kicked off in Kigali on Sunday to step up the effectiveness and commitment to curb the second deadliest disease in Africa.

The five-day meeting organized by the Regional Centre for Quality of Health Care (RCQHC) was officially opened by Dr. Harriet Kivumbi, RCQHC Director, in a function held in Kigali.

Kivumbi said that the meeting will help share best practices on fighting the disease and share experiences on what has worked and the challenges that still remain.

"The meeting is about learning from one another to share what has worked and what has not and to identify what we should do more in TB control and also to set the agenda for quality programmes for the next financial year," Kavumbi said.

The centre's financial year starts in September.

Established in 1999, RCQHC is a pan-African institution whose mission is to build capacity of African health care workers to ensure quality healthcare.

The regional learning session which attracted 60 participants from national TB and leprosy programmes from over 10 countries, including all the five EAC member state.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), TB is the second leading cause of death after Malaria and in 2006 it (WHO) declared TB an emergency disease and TB stop programmes were started in the same year.

Kivumbi observed a high rate of correlation between TB and HIV, saying that about 50% of TB patients are also HIV positive.

She added that Rwanda was chosen to host the workshop because of its good health practices and its success in controlling TB.

Dr. Corine Karema, the Acting Director General of TRAC-plus, a national centre for infectious diseases control and prevention, said that 97 percent of the registered TB cases in the country have been screened, making Rwanda the leading country in fighting TB in the whole world.

She said that this success has been realized mainly through of using community health workers.

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