The cost of buying Tuberculosis drugs will now fall onto the Government from the Global Fund donors and 1 billion shillings has been allocated to that effect.
The expected expense will include microscopy tests, GeneXpert cartridges, and all first-line medication.
The 1 billion shillings has been allocated in the 2019/2020 year which will include 340 million shillings for all first time medication and 660 million shillings for the GeneXpert according to Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.
Sicily made the announcement during the official opening of the International Scientific Lung Health conference at the Nairobi Hospital.
The CS noted that Kenya was leading in the adoption of innovative approaches such as GeneXpert.
GeneXpert is the first diagnostic test for TB patients and its drug-resistant variant according to the Health CS.
The cost of medication for TB drugs was previously funded by the Global Fund with the Government only making a minimal contribution but it now has to take more control of the Country’s health sector.
“We have made advanced plans to roll out Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) TB injection free regimens to mitigate against the side effects associated with the current injectable regimen,” the Health CS said.
Sicily noted that the ministry was targeting to improve the burden of pediatric TB by increasing its resources to find the “missing” children.
The Health Ministry rolled out baby-friendly TB drugs in 2016 and spoke of its plans to adopt the pediatric-friendly drug resistant from 2020.
There has been a 31 percent reduction increase in the number of missed cases in the age group.
Tuberculosis remains the fourth leading cause of death in Kenya despite achieved milestones in the sector which include Tb prevention and treatment awareness.
The drug-resistant TB remains a major health concern for the Ministry of Health according to the CS. Sicily noted that smoking was still a major contributor to respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and caused significant morbidity and mortality with major physical, social, economic and emotional consequences in the long run.
“The annual tobacco-related deaths are projected to increase to 8 million globally by the year 2030, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths,” the CS said.
The economic cost of smoking in Kenya is currently 3 billion shillings every year and one would imagine the figures would curb the rampant habit but they have failed.