New Hospitals in Uganda are Helping Combat Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

{Photo Credit: Sarah Lagot/MSH}TRACK TB's Chief of Party, Dr. Raymond Byaruhanga takes the Lira Hospital staff on a tour of the newly constructed MDR TB ward.Photo Credit: Sarah Lagot/MSH

According to guidelines set by the World Health Organization, the management of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) requires patients to be hospitalized for a short period of time before being released to seek daily treatment from a nearby health facility. Despite this requirement, the Lira and Soroti regional hospitals in Uganda both lacked admission facilities suitable for the treatment of MDR-TB.

Before 2014, Lira and Soroti Hospitals did not directly intake patients and only operated as follow-up facilities for patients to receive daily Directly Observed Therapy (DOT). To tackle this problem, USAID, through the five-year Management Sciences for Health implemented TRACK TB project in Uganda, facilitated the construction of new MDR-TB facilities which included XDR and MDR-TB wards, audiometry rooms, pharmacies, treatment rooms and nurses’ rooms at both hospitals.

On November 30, 2017, the TRACK-TB project management team officially handed over the fully furnished facilities to the respective hospital administrations.

At the handover ceremony, Dr. Odur Bernard, the Director of Lira Hospital, expressed gratitude for the much needed infrastructural investment:

“We are grateful to the U.S. Government for their continued support and to MSH for the technical assistance. This new TB Ward will help us implement a high quality MDR-TB management program.”

Dr. Mulwanyi Francis, the Director of Soroti Hospital, also voiced his appreciation for the new ward. He acknowledged that MSH has built capacity of the hospital staff in contact tracing and strengthening management of TB healthcare services.

TRACK TB’s Chief of Party, Dr. Raymond Byaruhanga urged the Lira and Soroti Hospital administration to fully utilize the new facilities and ensure that in the process of utilizing these facilities, they adhere to strict environmental guidelines. He reiterated that the new Drug Resistant TB wards are a legacy of MSH and USAID’s contribution to increasing MDR-TB case detection and treatment success rates in Uganda.

Since 2013, TRACK TB has directly supported Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB treatment sites in five regional referral hospitals and one district hospital.