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Economy

TB deaths declined to six-year low in 2016

Diagnosis of TB has improved with modern machines. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Diagnosis of TB has improved with modern machines. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s war against tuberculosis (TB) is paying off with deaths from the killer disease dropping to a six-year low last year.

Official data shows that TB deaths declined by 6,414 from 11,149 in 2011 to 4,735 last year.

This comes as deaths from infectious diseases like HIV continue to fall, reflecting the public health interventions put in place to fight the scourge. TB diagnosis, for instance, has been increased by the new type of diagnostic machines – gene expert, which is available in over 200 health facilities.

“The gene expert is more sensitive thus enabling faster detection of TB and it reduces the spread of the disease while reducing its toll on the patient,” said the Head of TB Unit, Dr Enos Masini.

“There has been a lot of interventions for TB considering that for many years HIV has been the main driver of TB deaths.”

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