Feb 4, 2013, 10:45 AM
March 24th of each year is observed as World Tuberculosis Day. The day is set aside to raise awareness on the devastating effects of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.
The theme for this year's was "Innovation" with a slogan "On the move against tuberculosis."
One-third of the world's population is currently infected with TB. The Stop TB Partnership, a network of organisations and countries fighting TB, organised the day to highlight the scope of the disease, and how to prevent and cure it.
Meanwhile, in his message to mark the day yesterday, WHO Regional Director for
TB remains a communicable disease of major public health concern in the African region, thus the need to tackle it with collaboration.
Patients should also endeavour to take their treatment in line with WHO guidelines, and effectively as prescribed by doctors.
It is also essential for all countries to establish and scale up management of drug-resistant TB as part of basic TB control programme activities.
All HIV care providers should facilitate screening of their patients for TB to ensure that those who are infected receive the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment.
Authorities and all healthcare providers should engage communities and civil society to enable them refer people with symptoms of TB for examination, and also to supervise patients on treatment, increase treatment adherence, reduce the number of patients who do not complete treatment, and ultimately reduce death rates through timely diagnosis and quality treatment.
The general public should also take responsibility for reporting at a health facility for examination and treatment, when they develop coughs or are otherwise unwell.
More efforts are needed through partnership to join hands in the renewed fight against TB in our region.
Together, we can make a big difference and ensure that through our collective efforts, TB will cease to be a public health problem in
"It is not to live but to be healthy that makes a life."