Katakwi General Hospital has received a Digital Mobile X-Ray equipment to help in managing Tuberculosis and other illnesses.
The equipment worth 108 million shillings was procured by the Ministry of Health with support from the Global Fund. It uses artificial intelligence to identify individuals likely to have TB within a short time. It is portable and can operate without power since it has rechargeable batteries.
Unlike other conventional X-ray machines that use ordinary films, the digital X-ray produces images within 30 seconds. The machine can detect patients under TB incubation period.
Peter Ogwang, the State Minister for ICT, while handing over the equipment to Katakwi on Tuesday says that the machine will help eliminate TB as a public health emergency in Uganda by 2030.
According to Ogwang, Katakwi and four other districts of Kamuli, Bududa and Kaabong have the highest TB prevalence in the country. He says the Ministry of Health is rallying everyone to help fight TB out of the country by taking the required precautionary measures.
Dr Stavia Turyahabwe, the Assistant Commissioner National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Division at the Ministry of Health says that although much of the attention is put on COVID-19, the ministry considered the equipment to help treat and manage other silent killers like TB.
Benjamin Opus, the Medical Superintendent at Katakwi Hospital says they receive between 15- 25 TB patients every quarter. He notes that most of the cases have been managed at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital due to lack of X-ray machine in the district.
Walter Elakas Okiring, the LCV Chairperson Katakwi says the TB/HIV contribute to four percent of the disease burden in the district.
(Additional reporting by URN)