Feature story

TB/HIV - Interlinking epidemics

21 June 2007

With HIV-related tuberculosis (TB) cases increasing in many parts of Africa, Dr Chakaya Muhwa highlighted the work of the Kenyan government to establish clear policy guidelines and effective organizational structures. These have come at a time when TB is emerging as a serious public health problem in Kenya, compounded by the appearance of drug-resistant TB strains that are making the disease that much more difficult and expensive to treat.

In his presentation, “TB/HIV: Integration of Services and Stopping the Newest Epidemic” Dr Chakaya said TB and HIV programmes should work together because the link between the two diseases was clear. He emphasised the importance of treating all illnesses associated with HIV and the need to improve health care systems. He also flagged the need to base human resource needs on staffing norms, not on workload assessment. He also stressed the need to recognise best practice in adequately controlling HIV and TB infections. “Inadequate infection control practices encourage the transmission of HIV and TB,” he said. TB control programmes needed to be strengthened and better coordinated with HIV programmes.


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