Nov 24, 2008, 5:37 AM
Countries all over the world yesterday marked World Tuberculosis Day (also called World TB 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.
Also on the other hand, policy-makers can play an active role in the prevention and control of tuberculosis. They can greatly influence political commitment to TB control, particularly in terms of reviewing and adjusting certain policies that are critical to tuberculosis prevention and control.
Tuberculosis has been among the top diseases of great public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa, including The Gambia and all efforts should be made to control and finally eliminate it.
“I think of her, two boys dying of tuberculosis, nursing four others she was a saint.”
Richard M Nicson