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TB DAY: Community engagement to combat the disease

March 24, 2024 9:00
TB DAY: Community engagement to combat the disease
A community member taking part in a TB screening activity during the event. Credit: CDCI

On World TB Day, observed annually on March 24th, communities worldwide unite to address the persistent global health threat of tuberculosis (TB). This year, the Chronic Diseases Clinic of Ifakara (CDCI) team in collaboration with the Afya Yangu project under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Deloitte, organized a community engagement initiative to raise awareness about TB.

Participants included community members, hospital TB coordinators, District TB and Leprosy Coordinators, along with distinguished guests such as the Regional TB and Leprosy Coordinator and Dr. Fr. Winfrid Gingo, the Hospital Deputy Director.

The engagement comprised five key components: raising awareness, recognizing symptoms, diagnosis procedures, treatment options, and prevention strategies. Firstly, the event aimed to educate participants about TB, its transmission modes, and preventive measures. It highlighted TB symptoms such as night sweats, weight loss, persistent coughing for more than two weeks, and fever, as outlined by the World Health Organisation.

Additionally, the community was informed about TB diagnostic methods, including GeneXpert, ultrasound, and chest X-rays. Insights into TB treatment durations were also provided. Moreover, comprehensive explanations of TB prevention methods were offered to the community.

In addition to awareness-raising, the team conducted TB screenings by identifying individuals exhibiting symptoms and collecting sputum samples for laboratory testing. 

About TB 

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs and caused by bacteria spread through the air when infected individuals cough, sneeze, or spit. 

Approximately a quarter of the global population is estimated to have been infected with TB bacteria. Roughly 5-10% of those infected will eventually develop TB disease symptoms. 

Those infected but asymptomatic cannot transmit the disease. TB disease is typically treatable with antibiotics but can be fatal if left untreated.

Learn more about TB here