Today the world observes World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. The major reason for recognising such a day is to make the public more aware of this deadly epidemic especially since it teemed up with HIV/ Aids to make a terrible twosome that is difficult to fight and overcome.
The observance is specifically put on this day because March 24 was the day Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus, way back in 1882. This was a first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.
This year’s theme is “I Am Stopping TB”. The World Health Organisation and other partner organisations are working hard to reduce TB prevalence rates and deaths by half by 2015, by ensuring that all TB patients, including for example, those co-infected with HIV and those with drug-resistant TB, benefit from universal access to high-quality diagnosis and patient-centered treatment.
It is to be hoped that Rwanda’s national observance of this day that is scheduled for Kibuye at the Hospital, will focus on these all-important issues that continue to dog developing countries.
Rwanda needs cheaper and tolerable drugs that have fewer liabilities to use when put in combination – the majority of TB sufferers are also HIV or Aids sufferers undergoing treatment, thus the urgent need for combination therapies that are friendlier in every sense of the word. The campaign against the marauding HIV/ Aids pandemic is all-consuming that sometimes other equally dangerous diseases are not given the required amount of attention.
Let today be used to disseminate lots of information to people about this highly contagious respiratory disease, and also step up the campaign for individual efforts to save oneself – and others – from contagion, just as the year’s theme says. Good hygienic practises should always be emphasised all round, as they beat many cures and are the best preventive measure known to man.