Nakapiripirit district has so far 20 cases; Napak 10 and Kotido six. Others are Kaabong with four, Abim and Moroto have two and three cases respectively.
PIC: Lobut Albino, in-charge TB unit at Moroto Regional Refferral Hospital speaking to patients in Moroto. (Credit: Olandason Wanyama)
KARAMOJA - At least 45 cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis have been detected in Karamoja.
However, Doctors in Africa, under CUAM, an Italian organisation supervising the treatment, have said the cases pose no health risk as most of them are receiving treatment.
Victor Lomonyang, the CUAM programme officer, said the cases were detected in the last 24 months.
Lomonyang said Nakapiripirit has the largest numbers of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) in the region.
He added that the district has so far 20 cases; Napak 10 and Kotido six. Others are Kaabong with four, Abim and Moroto have two and three cases respectively.
Lomonyang further said detecting the cases was facilitated by a genes expert machine placed at each hospital in the region.
He added that the medics have been monitoring families to ensure that other members of the household do not get the resistant strain.
"We got a couple in Nakapiripirit, which was diagnosed with the active disease but the children are normal.
Lomonyang attributes the MDRTB to the nomadic life in Karimoja, where persons on treatment migrate and abandon treatment. Some of them reside far away from health facilities, making it difficult to access drugs.
Others reasons include failure to complete the first-line of treatment which lasts for six months, an issue that could turn into drug-resistant TB
The in-charge TB unit at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital, Albino Lobut, urged the public to guard against the lung disease infection.
Lobut noted that in the past two years Moroto district has diagnosed 1,026 people with the disease.
He said unlike the first-line treatment which runs between four to eight months, treatment for MDRTB goes for 20-24 months.
Dr Francis Ogwang, the director Moroto Hospital said drug resistant is hard to treat.
He said patients have to be placed on direct observation treatment for two years.
MDRTB is a form of tuberculosis TB infection caused by bacteria that are resistant to first-line anti-TB drugs; isoniazid and rifampicin.