Kenya on Monday implemented the International Standards for Tuberculosis Care, Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo said at the biennial five-day planning meeting of the health ministry's Division of Leprosy, TB and Lung Diseases in Mombasa, Kenya, the Daily Nation reports.
Mugo at the meeting said there is an urgent need to refocus TB control efforts in Kenya, especially in prisons and high-risk settings. She said that the health ministry is "fully committed to offering quality services to the patients," adding that the launch of the international standards "marks the initial step and a foundation" for DLTLD to be certified by the International Organization for Standardization "by the end of this year." Mugo called on all health workers to familiarize themselves with the TB standards and increase efforts to meet them.
In addition, Mugo at the meeting launched the Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care, which outlines the rights of people with TB. Mugo said all TB patients should receive a copy of the charter to ensure they are aware of their rights. "Empowering people about their health is the catalyst for effective collaboration with health care providers and authorities and is essential to victory in the fight against diseases, including TB," Mugo said.
According to the Daily Nation, Kenya ranks 13th on the World Health Organization's list of the 22 countries with the highest TB burdens worldwide. Mugo added that it is "equally shocking" that 70% of reported TB cases are among people ages 15 to 34 (Kibirige, Daily Nation, 9/1).