Tuberculosis (TB) patients in Lamu now have something to smile about after well-wishers donated a TB machine to the Lamu District hospital.
The machine will be used to detect TB infections among new patients and also detect how far the disease has progressed among patients already infected right away.
Speaking in Lamu on Wednesday,Lamu county TB and Leprosy coordinator Abdulkadir Zubeir said the machine which cost Sh 1.5 Million had already arrived at the Lamu District hospital.
Zubeir said the machine which is the only one of its kind in the county would serve TB patients from all around the county.
“This machine can detect whether or not one has TB straightaway. It can also tell how far the TB has gone in someone who has had the illness for some time. It has already been brought at the district hospital and is ready to begin work,”said Zubeir.
Zubeir encouraged locals especially those displaying signs of TB to avail themselves at the hospital and be tested and possibly treated for TB.
He also said there was need for TB patients to also test and know their HIV status in order to enable them commence treatment on time.
Zubeir added that poor infrastructure was a major hindrance in the fight against TB and other such illnesses in the county.
“We are urging people to come out and get tested for TB and other illnesses. It’s in order for TB patient to also find out their HIV status and possibly start timely treatment for those willing. Some people have TB but they don’t know and the only option is to come and get tested even if you feel you can’t be infected. It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” added Zubeir.
Zubeir said the most affected was the Lamu East sub county where many locals do not even know they are suffering from TB.
The entire Lamu East had only a single centre located in Kizingitini where patients can get tested and treated for TB.
Mpeketoni division had the highest number of established TB cases in the entire county according to survey conducted between June 2014 and July 2015, Zubeir said a total of 224 new cases of TB were established in Mpeketoni alone.
“We conducted surveys between June last year and July this year in various divisions in Lamu. We established that 50% of all recorded TB cases were from Mpeketoni, meaning its leading in this disease and is followed by Lamu. We are calling on people to get tested and get treated where necessary in order to cut down the rate of infections,” added Zubeir.