Tuberculosis is one of the most prevalent epidemics in the world and in Rwanda, estimated at 95 per 100,000 in the general population, with nearly one in every four TB patients co-infected with HIV1. Kigali City has the highest rate of TB with 33.6% of people infected.
On 21st, June 2017, in partnership with RBC and UNAIDS- Rwanda Network of People Living with HIV (RRP+) moves to reduce incidence of TB in the community through the launch a campaign called “Raising awareness on TB, promoting early TB screening and treatment, and strengthening linkages between HIV and TB co-infection in the city of Kigali”.
Dr. Betru Tekle, UNAIDS Country Director in Rwanda
Dr. Betru Tekle, UNAIDS Country Director in Rwanda stated “eradication of TB needs the full effort of Government and CSO’s and I thank the Rwandan Government and RBC for working closely with civil society organizations. The commitment of PLHIV is crucial in this journey of ending tuberculosis among the citizens of Rwanda. TB and HIV are basically friends, which means we have to be very careful in managing and screening both diseases together”.
Dr. MIGAMBI Patrick in charge of TB programs at RBC confirmed that PLHIV are the most at risk of being infected with TB, representing 17% of people with HIV. Other groups at risk include; prisoners, children under the age of 15, people with 55 years and older, and people living with someone who has been infected by TB.
MUNEZA Sylvie, RRP+ Chairperson
The RRP+ Chairperson MUNEZA Sylvie, highlights that, “RRP+ is committed to demonstrating successful peer education, screening, and community health promotion best practices across Rwanda for people at risk of and living with HIV/TB. It is a priority of RRP+ to continue strengthening these programs and improve outcomes for people living with HIV/TB”.
During the discussion, participants appreciate the engagement of PLHIV in community mobilization through the Peer Education to end the Tuberculosis in the districts of City of Kigali, Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukicuro. This campaign will be conducted in 6 health facilities in each district. Latter, RBC will conduct a TB screening using new technology GENEXPERT materials to the people mobilized.
In closing remarks, City of Kigali-Director of Public Health, MUKANGARAMBE Patricie, thanked UNAIDS, RRP+ and particularly RBC for their dedication advancing linkages between HIV/TB. She praised stakeholders and conveyed the commitment of City of Kigali to work together to end HIV and TB epidemics.