National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease Program

Tuberculosis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Kenya. It affects all age groups, but has its greatest toll in the most productive age group of 15 to 44 years. The major factor responsible for the large TB disease burden in Kenya is the concurrent HIV epidemic. Other factors that have contributed to this large TB disease burden include poverty and social deprivation that has led to a mushrooming of peri-urban slums, congestion in prisons and limited access to general health care services. In the last decade TB case notification had been increasing at an average of16% annually, however, there has been a decline in TB cases from 2005 following a decline in TB/HIV cases that began in 2004.

In order to address the new challenges posed by the tuberculosis epidemic in the face of the HIV epidemic and the socio-economic environment, the ministry of health through NLTD-P has identified the following areas for increased support: Strengthening of the human resource capacity at all levels for effective coordination of TB control activities, decentralization of TB control services down to the community level to increase access to these services, a stronger collaboration between TB and HIV control programs in order to promote delivery of integrated TB/HIV services, private public partnerships to increase the number of private providers integrated into the TB service provider network and a sustained public education campaign coupled with health care worker training and support to promote early care seeking and adherence to treatment at community level and better TB case management by health care providers. In the last few years great strides have been made in all these areas thanks to the many stakeholders dedicated to making a difference.


What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease usually affecting the lungs (pulmonary TB). Other parts of the body can also be affected, for example lymph nodes, kidneys, bones, joints, etc. (extrapulmonary TB). Approximately 1,300 cases are reported each year in New York State.

How is tuberculosis spread?
Tuberculosis is spread through the air when a person with untreated pulmonary TB coughs or sneezes. Prolonged exposure to a person with untreated TB usually is necessary for infection to occur.

What is the difference between latent tuberculosis infection and tuberculosis disease?
Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) means the person has the TB germ in their body (usually lungs), but has yet to develop obvious symptoms. In latent TB, the person has a significant reaction to the Mantoux skin test with no symptoms of tuberculosis, and no TB organisms found in the sputum. Tuberculosis disease indicates the person has symptoms, a significant reaction to a Mantoux skin test and organisms found in the sputum. In order to spread the TB germs, a person must have TB disease. Having latent TB infection is not enough to spread the germ. Tuberculosis may last for a lifetime as an infection, never developing into disease. ……Readmore