Dr. Catherine T. Cooper, Acting Assistant Minister for Curative Services at the Ministry of Health, has said that the lack of adequate care for 3.6 million people around the world living with tuberculosis makes it difficult to succeed in the end fight against the disease.
She spoke at this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, celebrated under the global theme, “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World. You Can Make History. End TB.” Liberia observed the day under the theme, “Leaders, Make History. End TB.”
Dr. Cooper said donor funding to make Liberia a TB-free nation is not sufficient to successfully end the deadly disease, and therefore stressed the need for the Liberian government to increase its budgetary allotment to fight the disease.
“We need to understand what we are dealing with and the impact it has on our society that is the only way we can end the fight against TB and make Liberia a TB free nation,” Dr. Cooper said.
She said the discovery that the disease can be cured was a great step in the fight against TB, indicating that what needs to be done is for leaders to identify their role and make the advocacy against the disease clear to the public.
A proclamation issued by President George Weah, read by student Joseph Boldar from the ELWA Academy, spoke of the harmful effects and the burden TB continue to pose to the global community.
In a message from Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, presented through a proxy, indicated that this year’s theme seeks to build momentum towards the first UN General Assembly’s high-level meeting on TB in September, this year when heads of states, government, and key players will resolve to end TB through urgent, global action.
Moeti said a TB-free world will only be achieved through leaders who champion efforts to end it at the local level.
She said because leaders have the tremendous influence to build strong partnership and commitment to ending the TB epidemic at every level, parliamentarians and policymakers must drive ambitious plans that will accelerate TB control at the national level.
TB is an infection that affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. The disease can be cured once the victim takes the prescribed medicine regularly and on time until the treatment is completed.
The day is observed on March 24 each year as “World Tuberculosis Day” that highlights the threat TB poses to the human race.