The Ministry of Health has launched a five-year plan to tackle the growing threat of tuberculosis, leprosy, and lung diseases in Kenya.

The National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis, Leprosy, and Lung Health, unveiled by Principal Secretary for Public Health and Professional Standards Mary Muthoni, aims to provide quality care for these diseases to all Kenyans from 2024 to 2028.

Expressing deep concern about the alarming rise in tuberculosis cases, PS Muthoni stated, “In 2022, Kenya reported a total of 90,560 drug-sensitive TB cases, an increase compared to the 77,854 cases reported in 2021.”

She emphasized the ministry’s commitment to reducing the number of reported tuberculosis cases and highlighted the importance of collaboration with international organizations such as the CDC, WHO, and USAID to achieve a tuberculosis-free Kenya.

Furthermore, the plan seeks to address the critical issue of misinformation surrounding tuberculosis and to empower those affected by the disease, particularly in rural areas. PS Muthoni also called for cooperation from other ministries to effectively combat tuberculosis and its related health challenges.

The announcement comes as a response to the concerning drop in identified tuberculosis cases in 2020, with 90,841 people diagnosed last year, out of an estimated 112,000 cases.

The National Tuberculosis, Leprosy, and Lung Disease Programme revealed a decrease in the number of people with drug-resistant TB, dropping from 957 in 2020 to 756 last year.