Kabarole Registers High TB Prevalence in Pregnant Women

1495 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Joseph Mugenyi, the Kabarole TB Health Educator, says that all health facilities in the district have been directed to test and screen pregnant women for TB.

Health workers in Kabarole district have expressed concern over the high number of expectant mothers with Tuberculosis. Records from selected health facilities in the district by our reporter show that three out of every seven expectant mothers are infected with TB.  

 
At Rutete Health Centre III, six pregnant women were found to be infected with TB last month. Gertrude Byenkya, the in-charge of Rutete Health Center III, says that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to developing TB because of their weakened immune system. She explains that many women with TB rarely get treated early enough or even get diagnosed.



At Kisomoro Health Centre III, seven pregnant women were found to be infected with TB and were enrolled on treatment. Bruno Magezi, a health worker, says that in a bid to deal with the problem of TB among pregnant women, they have integrated TB screening in the antenatal and post natal care services, which would improve TB diagnosis and treatment.


//Cue in: "It is on the rise…
Cue out: "…TB treatment."//


Margaret Tusiime, 34, a resident of Kisomoro Sub County, says that she found out she had tuberculosis during the routine antenatal visit to a health facility. At the time of the diagnosis, Tusiime says she was 24 weeks pregnant and had been coughing for more than two months.


According to Tusiime, a sputum examination at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital tested positive for TB. She explains that she was put on an eight-month treatment programme, which improved her health.

 
Joseph Mugenyi, the Kabarole TB Health Educator, says that all health facilities in the district have been directed to test and screen pregnant women for TB. He explains that when pregnant women contract TB, the disease is more difficult to diagnose because TB symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, sweating, cough and mild fever are similar to physiological symptoms of pregnancy. 


He adds that under the TB treatment programme for pregnant women, nurses with the help of Village Health Teams (VHTs), make follow-ups on the patients that have already been diagnosed to make sure they are taking their medication as required.


//Cue in: "We are…
Cue out: "…screened."//


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), TB is the third leading cause of death among women aged 15 - 44. If untreated, active tuberculosis can cause problems for the fetus. Many babies born to mothers with untreated TB have low birth weight.


 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.