World TB day 2016 in Kenya was the beginning of innovations to: Mulika TB! Maliza TB. Swahili for: Find TB. Treat TB. Working together to eliminate TB. Kenya is moving from the usual and common strategies to invest in more high impact interventions through invaluable Partnerships. The focus for this year is creating awareness among all Kenyans to increase case detection and improve treatment outcomes, starting with the Health Care Workers nationally. This way they will lead as role models for the communities in the effort to end TB in Kenya.
The innovative “Mulika TB, Maliza TB” campaign is being carried out nationwide. This is intended to increase TB awareness, increase testing (screening) at community and at the health facilities and treat the infected persons until they are cured.
A symbolic TB Torch was used to serve as a visual representation of the commitment of both the Government and its partners towards ending TB and 10 of these torches were symbolically released to the 10 high burden counties on the 24th of March at Uhuru Park.
The campaign involved flagging off vehicles with TB Torches to the identified Counties by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, the US Ambassador to Kenya and the G4S Chief Officer.
There were representatives from the Counties, Infected and Affected communities, the CSOs, Private Sector and the Media who participated at the Launch.
“We must ensure that the light that is symbolically represented through the touch never go off. This is only going to be possible through continued partnership between the government and all the players, each of us showing uttermost commitment” Said Dr Masini
The G4S vehicles were co-branded with TB messages that serve to create awareness in the respective counties as they pass-through these counties. The arrival of the TB Torch in the Counties will symbolize the commencement of the Campaign of finding new TB cases in the community.
The 10 TB high burden counties namely; Mombasa, Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Kisumu, Kakamega, Machakos, Homabay and Turkana, were identified to participate in the launch of the campaign that was held in Nairobi on 24, March 2016.
Kenya is on the right path towards ending TB and more efforts need to be pulled from all partners as we take this final homestretch towards ending TB.