The Chronically Ill

The Chronically Ill

Chronic diseases like tuberculosis, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, sickle cell anaemia, diabetes, cancer and heart diseases are fast becoming a significant threat to Uganda. The country is affected by the dual epidemic of TB and HIV. The current HIV prevalence in Uganda is estimated at 6.5 % among adults and 0.7% among children. Women are disproportionately affected, accounting for 57% of all adults living with HIV. This, some believe, is because women tend to become sexually active at a younger age compared to men.

In Uganda, AIDS has devastating effects. It has reduced life expectancy, deminished the labour force and reduced output for agriculture. Uganda was the first Sub-Saharan African country to open voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) Clinics.

Uganda began to implement routine testing in hospitals and by the end of 2009, 1215 of health facilities in Uganda had testing facilities. The Incidence of TB, per 100,000 people, in Uganda was last reported at 209 in 2010, according to a World Bank report published in 2012.

People living with HIV/AIDS are also prone to TB because the virus weakens their immune systems. When the immune system deteriorates from different causes like HIV/AIDS, cancer and malnutrition, it fails to control the infection. This in turn fails to curb the disease. The bacteria multiply and cause further damage to the body. TB is a major cause of death in patients who suffer with HIV/AIDS if the TB goes untreated.

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