The African Union Commission (AUC) and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Gambia, and in ‎collaboration with Africa CDC‎, WHO AFRO, the Global Fund, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and WACI Health commemorated World ‎Tuberculosis Day in Banjul, the Gambia on Friday 24, March 2023.

“If we all fulfil our individual responsibility to ending tuberculosis and direct our efforts towards fulfilling our collective responsibility, then we will certainly make progress towards eliminating TB” – Dr. Momodou T. Nyassi, Director of Medical Health Services, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health, the Gambia.

The Gambia, like many AU Member States, is recovering from the ‎COVID-19 pandemic‎ which disrupted access to ‎quality TB diagnosis, treatment, and care. Before the pandemic, health care was not affordable for many households across the continent. ‎Several AU Member States, with the support of partner organisations, put in place adapted and functional strategies to accelerate recovery efforts. The significant stigma associated with TB and knowledge gaps on transmission, ‎prevention, and cost of treatment of TB still exists. ‎ Focused community-based campaigns to educate people on TB are thus necessary to ‎improve community engagement in the fight against TB. Training and continued re-training of peer educators, also referred to as community ‎and village health workers, to inform the public about TB at every opportunity are also beneficial engagement strategies. ‎This World TB Day thus stands as a moment to reiterate that to end the disease as an epidemic, there should be increased investments in evidence-based, community-centred approaches which will accelerate progress toward ending TB in Africa by 2030.‎

A key outcome of the commemoration event was presentations on the progress made in the Gambia on TB response by the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Program (NLTP) team. The AU Commission, Africa CDC, and partners present at the event reiterated their commitment to work with the Gambia to capitalise on areas of progress and jointly find solutions to the identified challenges.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *