TB Remains A Concern For Public Health, USAID HPN Director John Kuehnle Says

TB Remains A Concern For Public Health, USAID HPN Director John Kuehnle Says
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TB Remains A Concern For Public Health

Speaking during the national Tuberculosis Strategic Plan 2023/24 – 2027/28 launch, USAID HPN Director John Kuehnle says the National Strategic Plan for TB is an important step toward eliminating TB in Kenya, building on the progress achieved to date in improved case detection and improved treatment outcomes.

He adds that building a strong and resilient primary health care system is a key tool in eliminating TB in Kenya, as community health promoters are the bedrock of early detection and treatment.

The overall goal of this plan is to eliminate TB by 2030 through a combination of quality prevention, diagnostic and treatment services for TB.

The National Tuberculosis Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for achieving our targets. It guides us in expanding successful approaches, adopting new initiatives, and moving closer to our goal of ending TB.

In Kenya, TB remains a concern for public health, but we’ve been making progress in reducing its impact. The gap in detecting cases is getting smaller, and we’ve seen significant improvements in the outcomes for TB patients.

However, there’s more work ahead of us. We must intensify our efforts to prevent TB and identify those with TB, ensuring they receive high-quality care.

TB Remains A Concern For Public Health, USAID HPN Director John Kuehnle Says

It is crucial to embrace new tools and strategies, like the digital chest x-ray fitted with artificial intelligence for TB screening, more sensitive point of care WHO recommended rapid molecular diagnostic tests like truenat, next generation whole genome sequencing for better prevention and treatment, shorter treatment regimen and digital adherence technologies to improve adherence for good treatment outcomes.

Beyond that, we must also leverage available expertise, and use data to guide our programs.

USAID is proud to be a partner in developing the Strategic Plan, providing both technical expertise and financial support. We are committed to supporting the plan’s implementation for a healthier future.

I also want to congratulate the Cabinet Secretary on the successful launch of UHC during the Mashujaa Day celebrations. Primary Health Care is crucial, serving as a gateway to healthcare services that address illnesses like TB.

While TB is often diagnosed and treated at higher-level health facilities, many people in our communities who have symptoms of TB remain undiagnosed. This is where primary health care networks are key.

USAID’s Primary Impact initiative is actively supporting the Government of Kenya’s primary healthcare objectives by establishing primary healthcare networks in twenty-five counties.

Additionally, USAID supports training for community health promoters, who play a vital role in implementing community-based TB activities as well as realizing Kenya’s integrated electronic health information system. This will help identify those with TB early, thereby improving access to healthcare and significantly reducing the TB burden.

Together with the government of Kenya, we look forward to working closely with all of you to implement the strategies outlined today.

Through our partnership and collaboration, we can continue to enhance the quality of healthcare and ultimately end TB in Kenya.

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