Follow us :

NMIMR-KBTH commemorates World TB Day 2024

As customary, the world celebrates World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24 annually. A day set aside to commemorate the astounding discovery of the TB bacillus by Dr. Robert Koch in 1882. Today, World TB Day represents more than a commemoration of a discovery, it serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing global epidemic of TB, underscoring the persistent challenges it presents and the shortcomings in global efforts to eradicate it. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the disease through public education and engagement, emphasizing the need for collective action and unity within the global community to combat TB effectively.

Over a century has passed since tuberculosis first emerged, yet its grip on public health persists unabated. Before the advent of COVID-19, tuberculosis stood as the leading cause of death attributed to a single infectious agent worldwide. Approximately 10 million people are infected and about 1.3 million of them die annually as a result of this disease. This devastating reality has prompted significant attention, leading to high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly dedicated to combating tuberculosis. The second of these gatherings took place as recently as September 2023, underscoring the urgency of addressing this ongoing global health challenge. In various strategies and international commitments, the importance of engaging communities and civil society in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) has been emphasized. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy, which aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, highlights the role of communities and civil society in eliminating the TB epidemic by 2030. It is essential to dispel myths and misinformation about the disease and it is even more imperative to empower society to be ambassadors in achieving our shared goal of ending TB.

To contribute to this worthy cause, the Institute partnered with the Department of Chest Diseases at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Ussher Hospital with support from EDCTP3-funded PANGenS project, embarked on a community-based public education outreach on the 25th of March 2024.

The theme for the World TB Day 2024 – ‘Yes! We can end TB!’ – conveys a message of hope that getting back-on-track to turn the tide against the TB epidemic is possible through high level leadership, increased investments and faster uptake of new WHO recommendations.

Public education on TB at Korle-Bu polyclinic and the surgical unit waiting area

The campaign started from KBTH, and efforts extended to the Abossey Okai area, and before advancing to the Jamestown community.

The staff of the KBTH Chest Diseases Department led the NMIMR staff to the KBTH polyclinic and the surgical unit waiting area for the public education session. This session provided a platform for staff to disseminate essential information about tuberculosis, covering topics such as its symptoms, preventive measures, associated risk factors, and vulnerable groups, as well as the availability of free diagnosis and treatment services. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions and share any concerns they had.

A resident of Abossey Okai inquiring about TB

Additionally, some audience received infographic materials or “TB is curable” stickers serving as tangible reminders of the key information imparted during the session. Some of these materials were written in English language and translated into the Ghanaian local dialects- Asante Twi, Ewe, Ga, Dangbani, and Hausa. A public address system van from the Ussher Hospital accompanied the teams as they traversed from one location to another within the community, amplifying the spread of information and reaching a broader audience along the way.

A resident with TB handbook

The sessions at KBTH were succeeded by a door-to-door community outreach where teams ventured into the Abossey Okai and its environs to educate residents on tuberculosis. Team members moved in pairs utilizing the Ghanaian local dialects Twi and Ga to effectively communicate with residents and ensure adequate comprehension of the information being shared. Infographic materials, storybooks, and stickers were also disseminated to the members of the community.

The TB Team engaging with some residents of Abossey Okai

Efforts were further extended to the Jamestown community, where teams engaged with residents and workers as in the case of Abossey Okai. This approach, overall, facilitated comfortable and seamless interactions, fostering meaningful dialogue. The Jamestown community education session concluded activities for the day.

Group photograph of the TB team at Jamestown


Share this :