World TB Day 2018 is on the theme “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World” . This is to mobilise both political and social commitment to end TB. The African Journal of Current Medical Research (AfriJCMR) stands, using its platform to speak and engage the public towards a TB-free world.
Dr Robert Koch discovered the causative bacterium of Tuberculosis (TB) in 1882 . Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and affects mostly the lungs. Main symptom is cough with sputum and blood at times. TB is spread from person to person through the air.
TB is curable but remains one of the top 10 mortality culprits. World Health Organisation (WHO) 2016 estimates, show 10.4 million people were infected and 10% died worldwide. The statistics is more alarming for children who formed about 10% of the total infected with 25% mortality. Low and Middle income countries accounted for over 95% of these deaths. TB is known to be the leading killer in HIV-positive people. TB incidence is dropping gradually by 2% annually but this falls short of the target of 4-5%. 25% of new cases were recorded from Africa.It is estimated that a quarter of the world’s population have been infected but not yet ill with the disease or cannot transmit the disease. There is a 5-15% lifetime risk of this happening in this population.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 2030 to end the TB epidemic. By 2035, the WHO targets reducing incidence by 90% and mortality by 95%.
This is based on three main pillars:
- integrated patient-centred care and prevention,
- bold policies and supportive systems and
- intensified research and innovation
The principles set out to ensure the success of the strategy are;
- government stewardship and accountability, with monitoring and evaluation
- strong coalition with civil society organizations and communities
- protection and promotion of human rights, ethics and equity
- adaptation of the strategy and targets at country level, with global collaboration.
With this clarion call on the World TB day, the AfriJCMR stands as to add its voice for leadership everywhere to observe the principles to End TB. This runs from the highest political levels of the Heads of State through healthcare workers of all levels to the individual level.
Stand for this cause and Speak out. Get tested and treated if you have the symptoms or infection. Adhere to the treatment course to End TB.