Uganda this year plans to conduct a survey to determine the prevalence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in the country, National Leprosy and TB program manager Francis Adatu said Wednesday, the Monitor reports.
According to Adatu, the survey would "quantify the actual burden" and "determine the distribution" of MDR-TB in the country. Uganda will use the survey's findings to develop a national plan to address MDR-TB. According to Adatu, although MDR-TB is present in Uganda, its extent is unknown. A recent survey conducted at Arua Regional Hospital in Uganda's West Nile region found a 2.2% prevalence of MDR-TB, and a 1997 survey by the German Leprosy and TB Relief Association in southwest Uganda found a 1.1% prevalence of the disease.
In addition, Uganda plans to procure 100 courses of second-line TB drugs, Adatu said. He added that "early diagnosis" and effective drugs "properly used throughout the treatment period" could help curb the spread of MDR-TB. According to the Monitor, treatment for drug-sensitive TB costs about $30 over eight months, while treatment for MDR-TB costs about $1,500 over two years (Kirunda, Monitor, 9/12).