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Health Journalist Training on TB Management Kicks Off

May 29, 2008, 4:34 AM | Article By: By Abdoulie Nyokeh

A two-day training course for health journalists on the prevention and control of tuberculosis prevention and control is underway at the Paradise Suites hotel. The workshop has been organised by the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme (NLTP) at the Department of State for Health and is funded by the Global Fund Grant.

In his opening remarks, on behalf of permanent secretary at the department, the chief nursing officer Ismalia Njie said the aim of the workshop is to inform and empower journalists with knowledge with regard to policy issues in the prevention and control of tuberculosis. In The Gambia, he noted, tuberculosis is indeed an issue of great concern. Mr. Njie pointed out that approximately 2.4 million new cases occur each year and that there are 500,000 deaths. While Africa accounts for 11% of the world's population it bears 25% of the global TB burden. Mr. Njie revealed that diagnosis and treatment of TB in The Gambia is provided free of charge to all patients regardless of nationality. This, he said, clearly demonstrates the government's commitment to containment and eradication of the disease.

He emphasised the important role that journalists play in the society and said this is why the Department of State was involving them in the fight against this disease.

In his opening remarks, the NCTP manager Mr. Adama Jallow, said the aim of the two-day workshop is to strengthen the existing collaboration between the National TB control programme and Gambian health journalists. Mr. Jallow noted that the workshop is part of a series of training sessions organised by the NLTP. In conclusion he said that TB is more than just a disease it is also a social and economic problem in our society.