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TB remains a public health concern, health officials

Apr 13, 2015, 10:44 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Tuberculosis remains a public health concern and by extension a developmental problem in The Gambia like other developing countries, health officials said on commemoration of World TB Day in Ngain Sanjal village, North Bank Region.

It is in view of this that the Ministry of Health gives great priority to the fight against TB in The Gambia, said Alh. Karamba Keita, regional health director for Farafenni Health Services Directorate.

World TB Day, which is annually commemorated on March 24, is a global day to reflect on the severity and to raise public awareness about the chronic disease.

This year, the theme is “Reach the Three Million; Reach, Treat and Cure Everyone”.The slogan was chosen as 9 million people, worldwide, are infected with TB every year but 3 million do not get the care they need.

Mr Keita said this year’s theme seeks global efforts to find, treat and cure all people with TB and accelerate progress towards the bold goal of ending the disease by 2035.

He said World TB Day provides an opportunity for people around the world to raise public awareness about tuberculosis, and the global efforts being made to control and eliminate the disease as a public health problem.

Chief Saite Gaye of Sabach Sanjal thanked the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation for their efforts in the fight against TB.

He assured them of his district’s support in working towards the attainment of quality healthcare services.

Momodou Jallow, regional TB and leprosy officer, reiterated that TB remains a public health concern, saying: “All efforts are needed to combat the menace.”

TB is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine.

TB of the lungs, the most common, is easily transferred from one person to another.

Health officials say TB patients have a higher chance of getting other diseases, especially if they have other health problems like diabetes, abuse of alcohol or inject illegal drugs.