(Tuesday, 10th November 2009 Issue)
Mr. Adama Jallow, the Manager of the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Programme ( NLTP) has said that supporting the noble fight against tuberculosis is tantamount to the fight against poverty.
Mr. Jallow, who was speaking at the opening of a two-day forum for policy-makers on the prevention and control of tuberculosis, said that TB has been described by health experts as a disease of poverty and one that aggravates poverty.
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, with funding from the Global Fund Grant.
According to him, policy-makers can play an active role in the prevention and control of tuberculosis. He stated that as policy-makers they can greatly influence political commitment to TB control, particularly in terms of reviewing and adjusting certain policies that are critical to tuberculosis prevention and control.
Mr. Jallow posited that the battle against tuberculosis calls for greater collaboration and partnership now than before.
"Tuberculosis has been among the top diseases of great public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa, including The Gambia. The National Leprosy and TB Control Programme would continue to collaborate with all stakeholders, particularly policy- makers, in order to control and finally eliminate TB in The Gambia, in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals," he said.
He added that considering the extent of the TB and HIV co-infection in the African region, it is important to note that efforts to mitigate the epidemic have gone beyond the domains of the National Control Programme.
Mr. Jallow also revealed that NLTP has registered significance achievement in tuberculosis control in The Gambia.