Nov 9, 2009, 12:43 PM
Members of the Association of Heath Journalists (AOHJ) yesterday began a two-day training course on Tuberculosis-TB to help reduce transmission, morbidity and mortality related to the disease in the country.
The training session aims to increase access to the TB diagnosis and treatment, and to eventually achieve the minimum 70 percent case detection rate.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms Fatou Touray, president of AOHJ, urged the trainees to share the information with the wider society.
“TB is an ancient air-borne communicable disease. Dr. Robert Koch discovered TB in 1882,” said Musa B. Jallow of National Leprosy and TB Program.
He added that the
TB proves to be a major public health problem in The Gambia, he said, with 4415 cases annually, and that the incidence of all forms of TB is 257 per 100,000 of the population in The Gambia.
According to Jallow, the signs and symptoms of TB are chest pain, cough, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, and difficulty in breathing, night sweats, TB of the spine (affected from the legs down), TB of the bones, lymph nodes and abdomen.
The trainees were sensitized on the diagnosis and treatment of TB, while Musa B. Jallow of the National Leprosy and TB Program gave a lecture on the transmission and prevention of TB.
Meanwhile, according to officials, in order to prevent the spread of TB, suspected patients should report to the nearest health centre.
They noted that TB is preventable, and that treatment in all public health facilities is free of charge in The Gambia.