This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
Kon Akol, the state coordinator of Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program said: “The rate of Tuberculosis infection in Warrap is very high and we are the second in 10 states of South Sudan.”
He said that in 2012, Kuacjok hospital alone registered a total of 450 cases.
He attributed high prevalence to lack of ventilation and congestion in most of residential houses hence limiting the breathing space of which family members easily acquired the germs in the air.
Akol also stressed that the disease is common among the cattle-keeping communities than none cattle-keepers.
While speaking in three-day refreshment training in Kuacjok, he stated that the priority is to reduce pulmonary tuberculosis, the highly infectious type so as to slash the transmission cycle.
“As we also registered about 61 cases of pulmonary TB yearly, the government is interested in capturing and reducing those 61 cases in order to break the chain of infection,” Akol explained.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Patients with the TB germs (or bacilli) transmit the germs into the air during coughing, sneezing, talking, or spitting. Inhaling a small number of the bacilli leads to infection.
When a person with active pulmonary TB disease does not receive treatment, that person will infect on average between 10 and 15 people in a year.
World Health Organization estimated that the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in South Sudan to be at 79 per 100 000 for new sputum smear positive TB and 140 per 100,000 for all forms of TB cases.
According to Lou Joseph, the Deputy Manager National TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Program in the national ministry of Health, about 9,000 TB cases are detected annually and feared that the number of infections is growing.
“The national program even detected up to 9,000 TB cases annually. Just in a population of 10 million people, 9,000 is a big number and it shows that the number is big and growing,” he illustrated.
Dr. Lou stated that in 2008, the reported cases were 4,000 but now that has just doubled in last than five years.
He noted that with support from partners, South Sudan has been able to put human resource in TB program, citing that they have established coordinators in all the 10 states to coordinate TB and leprosy programs.
“The coordinators are doing a great job in facilitating the TB activities such as conducting trainings as well as overseeing the whole program in the states,” he said.
The national tuberculosis, leprosy and Buruli ulcer control programme formed in 2006 in collaboration with its partners, coordinates, monitors and supervises the implementation of TB-related activities.
WHO, a main actor is also acknowledged for its significant role in strengthening the capacity of the national programme by providing financial and technical support for delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic TB services conduct assessments and collect sputum specimens.
The organization also distributes information, education and communication materials, and facilitates capacity-building workshops.
According to Warrap coordinator, Kon Akol, they are training 12 staffs including clinical officers, nurses and laboratory technicians from the five TB and HIV centers in the state.
He urged all people of Warrap to get used of available TB and Leprosy facilities since there are enough medicines and facilities to screen and treat the respective diseases.