Research Council The Gambia –MRCG- and the National Leprosy and TB Control unit
of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have jointly celebrated World
Tuberculosis –TB- Day at Sukuta health center.
World Tuberculosis Day is observed every 24 March. It is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Government officials, staffs of MRCG and the community of Sukuta attended the celebration under the theme: Wanted leaders for a TB free World.
Dr. Olumuyiwa Owalabi, MRCG TB clinical coordinator said the celebration was organised with a sensitisation of communities to understand that TB is a life threatening disease that has killed many people.
He said the world wants to live in a community free from TB and appealed to families to be caring to TB patients and to encourage them to take regular treatment. “No one should be shy being a TB patient. We will join hands together to make Sukuta a TB free community,” he said.
Dr. Owalabi told the gathering that MRCG would, in the not too distant future develop a tool kit for TB testing like how it is done for malaria. “We are currently conducting research at our laboratories. We want to eradicate TB in our generation.”
Mustapha Sima from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said TB day celebration provides opportunity for awareness creation about the epidemic, describing it as a public health problem in West Africa.
Mr. Sima emphasised closed collaboration as one of the fastest means to help suppress the life threatening epidemic, saying TB is a serious disease that should not be underrated. “Thousands of people die of TB every year and most of them from Africa and Asia.”
He said health ministry’s TB control programme has developed a country strategic plan with MRCG to give more focus on addressing the disease.