Kenya unveils latest innovations to diagnose and treat TB

Some of the new tools introduced include eight ultra-portable digital chest X-ray machines

-- Some of the new tools introduced include eight ultra-portable digital chest X-ray machines that are battery-operated.

-- The machines emit lower doses of radiation and can be packed into backpacks and so easily transported into the field.

The fight against TB in the country has received a major boost following the roll-out of a package of the latest innovations in the diagnostic and treatment of the disease.

The package that contains digital health technologies valued at Usd 1,643,982 is aimed at strengthening TB care in Kenya.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs.

Dubbed the Introducing New Tools Project (iNTP), the project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health National TB Program, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Stop TB Partnership and the Centre for Health Solutions – Kenya (CHS).

Some of the new tools introduced include eight ultra-portable digital chest X-ray machines that are battery-operated.

The machines emit lower doses of radiation and can be packed into backpacks and so easily transported into the field to facilitate the detection of TB in hard-to-reach populations that currently face barriers to accessing services.

Also unveiled were 38 Truenats Machines, the first WHO-recommended rapid molecular test for the detection of TB and rifampicin resistance that can be used at a peripheral level.

“It is battery-powered and uses room-temperature stable reagents, generates TB results in one hour, and is designed for operation in peripheral laboratories with minimal infrastructure, and minimally trained lab technicians,” a joint statement said.

Others include Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) recommended by WHO for use in people aged 15 years and older and Digital Adherence Technology (DATs) and Two Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs).

The CAD technology uses artificial intelligence to identify signs of TB in chest X-rays and will provide decision support to clinical staff reading chest X-rays.

DAT on the other hand allows TB patients to notify their health care providers about their medication intake by calling or texting a toll-free number and in turn empowers the patients to take their medication at a time and place that is convenient for them.

“Kenya has benefitted through the following tools for TB screening, diagnosis and prevention treatment courses for TB preventative therapy: 3RH regimen to benefit 13,000 persons,” Health CAS Rashid Aman said during the launch in Mathare.

“TB case finding and laboratory diagnosis forms the backbone of quality patient care and disease surveillance. Our health care workers need to be well equipped with skills and knowledge to operate, service and interpret patient results for better management of our patients,” he added.

Kenya is one of the seven countries in the world benefiting from this support.


Source: The Star

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By Magdaline Saya

Published: July 7, 2022, 10:52 p.m.

Last updated: July 14, 2022, 9:59 p.m.

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