The Ministry of Health National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTLP), in collaboration with partners, revised its five-year strategic plan 2015/16 – 2019/20 to incorporate findings from the 2014/15 national tuberculosis (TB) prevalence survey. The survey revealed a higher TB burden than previously estimated and demonstrated that over 40,000 TB cases are missed every year. Although the TB survey revealed a more accurate estimate of the TB burden, the observed declining trend in TB case notification over the last 5 years could exacerbate TB transmission and lead to increased drug-resistant TB. The survey findings have several programmatic implications, including the imperative for more intensive efforts to detect the missing TB cases and to adequately respond to the expanded TB/HIV epidemic, requiring several changes in NTLP’s strategies and interventions.
The revised National Strategic Plan also better aligns with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy and incorporates recommendations from various program reviews. Globally, Uganda is among 30 countries with the highest TB/HIV burdens. Although Uganda has made some progress to control tuberculosis and leprosy, we need to do a lot more to meet the national and global targets for TB and to prevent the emergence of extreme TB control challenges such as drug-resistant TB.