Itâ€™s nearly half a century since KAPTLD was formed (1957). The Association was formed with an aim of clarifying misconceptions on TB and reducing the difficulties that the TB patients in the country were undergoing in accessing care. Initially the association started as a radio program airing information through the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
It is sad that the herbalists and unconventional therapists have captured this idea to propagate often misleading information to the public. However, KAPTLD has a role together with the Ministry of Health to set the standards for the media by at least keeping the public perception scientifically oriented. The need to access accurate information and proper care by the community and the patients is of paramount importance for development of our nation. KAPTLD will continue to disseminate correct information about lung diseases and other respiratory health issues in Kenya.
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-- Dr. C. J. Mureithi, Chairman KAPTLD during the 11 Feb 2006 AGM.
The Kenya Association for Prevention of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (KAPTLD) started as the Kenya Association Against Tuberculosis (KAPT) in 1957. KAPT was a forum for exchange of ideas and experiences by those with a special interest in Tuberculosis . The association was entirely focused on tuberculosis. KAPT was a part of a larger global movement against Tuberculosis - the International Union Against Tuberculosis (IUAT).
KAPT went through cycles of near death and revival and was moribund by all standards in 1997.Â Then there were no members or activities and there was an urgent need to revive the association. Revival efforts started in 1997 with support from Dr. Daniel Kibuga, then Head of NLTP and the president of the African Region of IUAT. There was also a need to provide a forum for hosting the African Regional Conference on the International Union Against Tuberculosis and it was felt that KAPT would be the best local forum for this purpose, this provided an impetus for the association's rebirth.
The global organization changed its name to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (IUATLD) to reflect a broader interest in lung health including asthma, ARI and tobacco related lung diseases. It was felt that the same should happen in Kenya and therefore KAPT changed its name to the Kenya Association for Prevention of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (KAPTLD). However a registration hitch at the Registrar of Societies led to the registration of KAPTLD as a completely new entity. To date, both associations exist in the books at the registrar of societies. The registration hitch meant that the Association could not access its former assets and money held under KAPT identity.Â Around KES 450,000 is still held under KAPT bank account with the National Bank of Kenya.
In recognition of the partnership's synergy, KAPTLD and the National Asthma Association of Kenya (NAAK) merged in 2002.
Among the key achievements was the initiation, in close collaboration with NLTP, of the private sector TB treatment project in 1999. This project has been a great success and has catapulted the association into the national and global limelight. The project known world over as evidenced by the decision of WHO DEWG to meet in Kenya in 2006.
KAPTLD has also established a functional secretariat. Funds for establishing the secretariat were initially received from the Dutch government. Later CDC agreed to support the private sector TB initiative including the KAPTLD secretariat. Between 2005-2007, KAPTLD was the selected lead agency for the implementation of the Intensified Support and Action Countries (ISAC) initiative of the stop TB partnership in Kenya.
The association now has a 15 member secretariat and respiratory health projects in seven regions covering the Mombasa Kisumu TB/HIV belt and other interior regions with a high disease burden.