IOM Uganda hosts Ministry of health and stakeholders on Latent TB


May 16, 2019

By Richard M Kavuma
IOM Uganda’s Migration Health Assessment Centre recently hosted stakeholders and experts on tuberculosis for a practicum on state-of-the-art TB testing.
The practicum was part of a national consultative and orientation workshop on “Latent TB Testing using Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA)”. Participants included Health officials, laboratory technical staff, programmers (programme leaders) and researchers.

The workshop, convened by the Ministry of Health, was part of Government of Uganda broad strategy to check latent TB, where an individual carries the disease-causing bacteria but does not yet show any symptoms. 

The IGRA test is one of the few sure ways to detect latent TB, but it requires sophisticated equipment and expertise that is not commonly available in many developing countries.
According to Dr Stavia Turyahabwe, the Acting Assistant Commissioner for the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme (NTLP) in the Ministry of Health, the workshop was part of a feasibility process for introducing the IGRA test in public hospitals.

IOM Uganda’s MHAC is one of very few health facilities in Uganda offering the IGRA test, according to the French company QIAGEN, manufacturers of the “QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus” test-kit used for the IGRA test.

The workshop participants were accompanied by QIAGEN representative Amadou Gueye, who also attended the workshop. They were briefed by IOM laboratory expert Moses Mwesigwa, who took them through the practical session, and answered their questions alongside Gueye.

Commenting on the exercise, Dr Stavia Turyahabwe said: “The practical session at IOM made the training a success. Participants were able to appreciate the theory through the demonstration and explanation on how the test is run.”