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Friday, May 24, 2024

World Tuberculosis Day commemorated in Freetown

HomeHealthWorld Tuberculosis Day commemorated in Freetown

World Tuberculosis Day commemorated in Freetown


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To commemorate World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) on 24th March, 2024, the National Tuberculosis Control Program and partners observed the Day in Freetown with a sensitisation program on Tuberculosis.

The theme for the year’s community stakeholders’ engagement to end TB and observance of the day is ‘Yes We Can End TB.”

The well-attended event attracted over 60 participants including school pupils, students, teachers, nurses and the media.

Different speakers dilated on various topics related to the symptoms, prevention, care and treatment of TB.

Sheik Ibrahim of MI-SL revealed that in 1982 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared 2024 the end of TB, that this year’s commemoration would be held in Bo District, underscored the need to engage stakeholders to strategize on how to end the disease adding that TB was first declared an epidemic in 1990 and that WHO set the target in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to end it by 2030/2035 by 95%.

He further underscored that to achieve this community engagement is key.

In his brief background about the organisation, Allieu Sesay also of MI-SL disclosed that it is a worldwide organization with headquarters in Mexico helping vulnerable people in hard to reach communities and intimated that they have visited Moyamba, Port Loko and Kambia districts respectively to address health related issues especially their three areas of mandate/operation: malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB.

He continued that they recently presented their recommendations to end malaria to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, informed that they would join the National TB Control Program in Bo to observe the day, appealed to participants to be TB Community Ambassadors to end the disease by 2025 underscoring that MI-SL is for all, that all stakeholders must be encouraged to join the fight with MI-SL as there are lots of opportunities like trainings for youths adding that they are complementing the efforts of government in the health sector.

According to Allieu Sesay, WHO is preparing Sierra Leone for any outbreak of diseases, that TB is an airborne disease that can spread in public places, asserted that treatment is free but warned that patients must take their drugs daily and that healthcare workers monitor and evaluate by looking at the indicators to ascertain if Sierra Leone is making progress or has reached its target to end TB by 2025.

He continued that MI-SL would put more efforts to end the disease, that the three pillars they operate are integrated patient center, preventive measures, identification and formulation of cogent policies as well as research methods, urged participants to tell patients not to be discouraged as TB is curable and that the six months treatment is free.

On the preventive methods, Martin Bangura of MI-SL revealed that people must keep away from TB infected areas and persons, wear masks, regularly wash their hands, not to use infected needles and take the TB vaccine.

It was also disclosed that some animals can be infected with TB which they can transfer to humans the reason human beings must practice good hygiene and avoid overcrowded places.

Highpoints of the interactive session were experience sharing by former TB patients who revealed that there are various types of TB disease-the infectious, severe and active stages, that one needs to take a blood or saliva of even scan tests to determine whether he/she has the disease, that the symptoms include weight loss, persistent coughing, vomiting of blood, tiredness and cautioned all not to use the cups, spoons and other utensils/items of TB patients and to discard all their kits.

The question and answer session and the vote of thanks by a participant climaxed the ceremony.


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