World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti
WHO Regional Director Calls For Strategy To End TB
By Wilfred Gortor, LINA
MONROVIA, March 23 (LINA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has called on African governments to embrace and adopt the "End TB Strategy," as the world observes this year's World Tuberculosis Day.
World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated on March 24 each year to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.
The day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the WHO. The global theme for this year's celebration is "Unite to End TB."
Dr. Moeti is also calling upon all countries and partners to intensify efforts to reach, treat, and cure everyone with TB and to pay special attention to underserved areas and vulnerable people.
In her official statement ahead of the day’s celebration, Dr. Moeti reminded African governments that the End TB Strategy is a global intervention and a call for accelerated global efforts to find, treat and cure all people with TB, noting that the WHO will continue to support countries to strengthen the system in an effort to achieve this goal.
Dr. Moeti observed that every year there is an estimated nine million new TB cases worldwide and that three million of these cases are either not diagnosed or treated, while some are diagnosed but are not registered by national TB control programs.
"We need to do more by working across all sectors to prevent TB through poverty reduction and social protection and achieve universal health coverage," she said.
The WHO Regional Director stressed that available information indicates that significant progress is being made to bring the TB epidemic under control in Africa due to the fact that the previously increasing trend of TB cases has been halted and the region has been observing a declining trend of TB in the last four years.
Meanwhile, Dr. Moeti is urging the public to overcome TB barriers, correct misconceptions about the disease as well as promote healthy behaviors.