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Health Minister says TB causes 4,000 deaths daily

March 29, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, has described tuberculosis as the world’s leading infectious killer which causes more than 4,000 deaths daily.

In his message to mark World TB Day on Thursday, 24 March, 2016 on the theme “United to End TB”, Dr. Fofanah said the burden of the disease was serious enough to pose a significant threat to the social and economic development of any country, unless concerted and effective measures are taken to combat it.

According to him, the control of the disease calls for a multi-sectorial approach, involving many players, including home governments, local non-governmental organisations, as well as the international community.

“This year’s theme calls for finding new and even better tools to fight the disease as well as reaching more and more people out there with TB services. The bright side of things is that tuberculosis is both preventable and curable,” he said and added that promoting uptake of innovative care technology was also pivotal in fighting the disease.

Dr. Fofanah revealed that in Sierra Leone, a total of 12,103 cases of tuberculosis were reported in 2015 and put on treatment from the 170 service delivery points across the country with a cure rate of 88.1%.

He commended staff at the Tuberculosis Control Programme of the ministry for their selfless efforts in trying to cure those infected with the disease, but stressed that the emergence of HIV/AIDS and multi drug resistant tuberculosis continues to undermine collective efforts to combat the disease.

“We have developed a new TB strategy as well as treatment guidelines that integrate TB with HIV. We are in the planning phase of introducing a new cadre of community health workers to increase awareness of the disease,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Programme Manager at the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme, Dr. Lynda Foray, added that the day was meant to raise awareness and promote dialogue among nations in order to fight the disease.

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