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Marking World TB Day

Mar 24, 2011, 1:45 PM

Countries all over the world are today marking World Tuberculosis Day (also called World TB Day), a day which has been celebrated since 24 March 1982.

World Tuberculosis Day is a day meant to build community awareness about tuberculosis across the globe.

Despite significant progress in many countries, in the fight against TB, the disease still remains a major public health concern.

Even though TB is curable, the disease is still a major health problem, and the Number One killer disease in many African countries.

TB, therefore, requires not only the intervention of the government, but it is communities and people’s responsibility to save the patients, and others from catching it.

Our advice to people, in observing this day, is that if one has been coughing for two weeks or more, sweating at night, losing weight and appetite, he or she should take a test for TB.

Since testing and treatment for TB is free in the country, we implore all those suspected of having the above symptoms to go out to have a TB test.

We urge TB patients to make sure that they take and complete their treatment. They need to do so in order to help in preventing the spread of TB in our communities.

This year, the campaign is inspired by the ambitious new objectives and targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2011-2015: Transforming the Fight - Towards Elimination of Tuberculosis, which was launched by the Stop TB Partnership in October 2010.

This new plan, for the first time, identifies all the research gaps that needed to be filled to bring rapid TB tests, faster treatment regimens and a fully effective vaccine to market.

 It also shows public health programmes how to drive universal access to TB care, including how to modernize diagnostic laboratories and adopt revolutionary TB tests that have recently become available.

The campaign will focus, once again, on individuals around the world who have found new ways to stop TB, and can serve as an inspiration to others.

“I think of her, two boys dying of tuberculosis, nursing fours others she was a saint.”

Richard M Nicson