The Association of Health Journalists, with support from the UNAIDS recently held a two-day training for it members on TB and HIV co-infection, at a ceremony held at the NaNa hall in Kanifing.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nuha Ceesay UNAIDS’ Country Officer told journalists that, Tuberculosis is the leading cause of deaths among people living with HIV.
He said globally an estimate of 13% TB cases are co-infection with HIV and at least one third of the nearly 33 million people living with HIV are infected with the bacterium that causes TB, adding that the dual epidemic is particularly pervasive in Africa, where 80% of the total global burden of dual HIV and TB cases are found.
According to Ceesay, it is apparent that without urgent and long-term action, the epidemic would continue to take an unacceptable toll of death and suffering in countries and communities throughout the world.
Noting that many countries have developed plans to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, he said, The Gambia is currently one of those countries.
Fatou Touray, the President of AOHJ said the training was meant to equip members with the required information on TB and HIV co-infection.
While stating that it is only through training like this that members can be sensitised and be able to disseminate information back to the public, he said, such things would keep the public informed, and thereby put an end to stigma and discrimination.