Feb 14, 2014, 10:09 AM
Globally, World TB Day is commemorated on 24 March each year and the day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis worldwide and the status of its prevention and control efforts.
It is also an opportunity to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress.
The event was observed in the form of a march-past which started from Penyem Lower Basic School to the Child Fund grounds, where participants later gathered to listen to speeches delivered by selected speakers.
Speaking on the event, Musa Camara of the West Coast Regional Health Team commended YCFAC and Bawrigal for organising such an important event.
He said tuberculosis is a common and, in many cases deadly, infectious disease, usually caused by bacteria.
He added that tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.
“It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze etc,” he disclosed, adding that the signs and symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue, among others.
Camara emphasized that TB is curable and government had established a unit responsible for TB cases and its treatment is free in all public hospitals in the country.
He said its treatment takes about six months, while urging people to be very observant and report any TB cases to any nearby clinic and advised people to desist from discriminating TB patients.
The representative of Bawrigal Youth Association, Ousman Sowe, underscored the importance of the event and the reason they and their partners commemorate the day.
The Alkalo of Penyem, Kalilou Colley, expressed delight for choosing his village for such an important event, while assuring his village’s commitment towards the fight against tuberculosis and any other pandemic.
The president of Bawrigal, Samba Bah, told participants that Bawrigal is a registered youth organisation, both with the Attorney General and the NYC established four years ago.
The association also aims to fight against diseases that affect society, he said, adding that the commemoration of World TB Day is in fulfillment of one of those objectives.
In describing Bawrigal’s relationship with the community of Penyem, Samba disclosed that in 2012, his association had distributed 150 treated mosquito bed nets to three communities, including Penyem.
Speaking on behalf of YCFAC, Lamin Darboe said that YCFAC is registered in The Gambia, different countries in Europe and five states in the United States.
Darboe urged the people to change their attitudes in the fight against not only tuberculosis, but also against all diseases.
He revealed that his organisation had been able to distribute over 700 treated insecticides mosquito bed nets for the past two years.
Darboe thanked the TB and Leprosy office for the provision of T-shirts and posters for the event.