Uganda has joined the rest of the world to commemorate World TB day aimed at raising public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of Tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
According to minister of health Jane Ruth Acheng, Uganda is one of the 22 high TB burden countries in the world however said, it’s the responsibility of every to prevent the spread of TB
Recently, World Health Organization (WHO) launched a joint initiative dubbed ‘Find, Treat, All, End TB’ with the aim of accelerating the TB response and ensuring access to care, in line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage.
She said the day avails opportunity to reflect on the advances that have been made in recent years but also on what remains to be done to end the scourge of TB in Uganda, Africa and the rest of world.
“TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, nearly 4500 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease,”
The day was marked in Ruhama Sub County in Ntungamo district under the theme ‘It’s time for Uganda to End Tuberculosis. It starts with me’.
“Ending TB means 10 or less cases per 100,000 population. Currently, TB prevalence stands at 201/100,000 however Stigma remains a big impairment to TB health care seeking in Uganda,” she said.
Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 54 million lives since the year 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42 per cent.