ICWEA calls for increased investment in Community led responses to end TB
As we commemorate the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2017, under the theme, Unite to End TB, the International Community of Women Living with HIV calls for increased investment in gender, human rights and community engagement to END TB, “Unite with Women, END TB in Women”. TB is preventable and curable, but it is the leading cause of illness and death among women living with HIV. In 2015, an estimated 3.5 million women fell ill with TB worldwide. Of these, half a million died including 140,000 women living with HIV. About 85% of these HIV-related TB deaths among women were in Africa.
National TB programmes across East Africa rely on donor funds due to low domestic financing. In 2016, Uganda invested 4% of the total approved Ugs 136 billion required, Kenya 20% of $59m, Rwanda 21% of $15m and Tanzania invested 5% of $40m. This has led to sporadic stock outs of TB medicines, preventive therapy and laboratory reagents needed to diagnose the disease and poor adherence among TB patients.