The Ministry of Health on Thursday donated four GeneXpert machines to the Uganda Prisons Authority to facilitate timely screening of Tuberculosis (T.B) in both Prisons staff and inmates.
The hand over function was presided over by Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Health Ministry.
Handing over the equipment to the Commissioner General of Prisons Dr Johnson Byabashaija at the Ministry’s headquarters in Kampala, Atwine pointed out that they have provided these machines to facilitate early detection so as to prevent the infected individuals from spreading to others.
She added that with the congestion in most of the Prison facilities, this disease spreads faster if not detected early.
Receiving the donation, Byabashaija applauded the Ministry for the timely support which he said is going to speed up their efforts in eradicating Tuberculosis among inmates.
“This will reduce TB both in Prisons and surrounding communities at large because after serving their sentences, prisoners return to their homes, therefore, once detected and treated earlier, it will save other individuals from being infected,” he said.
Other officials at this event were the Director General Health Services, Dr Henry G. Mwebesa, Commissioner in charge of Laboratory Services, Dr Susan Nabbada, Asst. Commissioner in charge of National TB and Leprosy Program, Dr Stavia Turyahabwe.
Recent studies indicate that TB is the biggest cause of death among prisoners in Uganda therefore the additional machines will create an opportunity for expanded capacity for TB diagnosis and detection of the resistant strains among inmates allowing for prompt initiation of treatment.