Big Four will cut TB, Uhuru says

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said his government is committed to ending tuberculosis.

The President was speaking during the first-ever High Level Meeting on TB on Wednesday, during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“Drug-resistant TB patients are to receive a monthly stipend and a provision for nutritional support for all other TB patients,” he said. Uhuru joined other world leaders in affirming their commitment to ending tuberculosis globally by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals target.

“Kenya supports the resolution to end TB. My government’s Big Four agenda on food security, housing, manufacturing and healthcare will contribute towards reducing the burden of TB,” Uhuru said.

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Deputy Secretary General to the UN Amina Mohammed said progress towards ending TB was uneven, slow and fragile, and called on countries to do more. “TB needs a system-wide approach that promotes the broader health and well-being of entire communities and breaks out of disease-specific silos and single goals,” Ms Mohammed said.

The disease, which infects 10.4 million people globally, is the world’s biggest infectious killer, claiming 4,500 lives every day.

“TB knows no borders,” said World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom. “It thrives in poverty, malnutrition or conflict. We must reach everyone with quality care... by 2022.”

Timpiyian Leseni, a TB survivor from Kenya, joined other survivors in calling on leaders to commit themselves to ending the disease.

“It is tough taking the medication. TB in the Maasai community is associated with stigma because it is associated with HIV. Many a times, you are neglected and left to die,” said Ms Timpiyian.

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President Uhuru KenyattaHigh Level MeetingTBSustainable Development GoalsBig Four agendaDeputy Secretary GeneralUN Amina Mohammed