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MRC commemorates World TB Day

Apr 11, 2016, 1:16 PM | Article By: Kaddijatou Jawo

Medical Research Council (MRC) Gambia Unit in collaboration with the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme, under the Ministry of Health, on Thursday commemorated World Tuberculosis Day.

The commemoration of the annual international day, usually held on March 24, in The Gambia was held at Sinchu Alhagie on the theme ‘Unite to End TB’.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Beate Kampmann, said TB is curable so people suspected of having any symptom of the disease for diagnosis and treatment.

She said stakeholders working for the control of TB should work collaboratively and together to put in measures to eradicate the disease.

Dr Abdou K Sillah, research clinician for Childhood TB Programme Grant, said though TB control efforts have been scaled up over the past decade, most childhood TB remains under-recognised, underreported and accorded low priority in most national TB control programmes.

Dr Sillah pointed out that current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB diseases are not sufficient.

“Skewed human resources lead to misdiagnosis of TB especially among children where the disease could mimic other childhood illnesses,” he said, adding that research findings have it that most children especially the very young acquire TB from adult household member who has active TB.

The research clinician urged those living with TB to go to any nearest health centre for diagnosis and treatment.

“Please if you see any of the signs and symptoms of TB, don’t go to the marabouts they will just waste your time and as well as your money,” he said.

In The Gambia, 6 per cent of all TB cases are children and 1.5 million people suffer from TB worldwide, according to statistics.

“Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable because their immune system is not strong,” Dr Sillah said.

Gibriel Sanneh of the Ministry of Health said the public health facilities are equipped with tools and trained personnel to diagnosis and treatment TB.