The programme manager of the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis programme, Dr Foday Dafae, disclosed in a press conference over the weekend that in 2007, 9,623 cases of Tuberculosis (TB) were registered.
Speaking at the Grassroots Gender Empowerment hall at John Street in Freetown, Dr Dafae said in 2004 there were 5,863 cases, in 2005, 6,930, in and in 2006 8,208 cases of TB were registered in TB health clinics nationwide.
He added that when people with pulmonary (lung) cough, sneezed or spat, they propelled the germs in the air that caused TB.
The programme manager noted that a person needed to inhale only a few of these germs to be infected, adding that an infected person did not necessarily feel ill.
Continuing, Dr Dafae disclosed that globally, “TB is a massive public health problem with nine million new cases and two million deaths annually”.
TB, he noted, was also a serious public health problem in our country, noting further that there had been a steady increase in the number of new cases reported to our clinics.
“The treatment successes rate has jumped from 75% in 2004 to 87% in 2007”, he revealed, adding that, “we now have 84 diagnostic centres nationwide as compared to less than 20 in 2004, maintaining that with this progress, it is our belief that we can stop TB”.
Speaking on the slogan for this year’s World TB day commemoration: “I am stopping TB”, he pointed out that, “I am stopping TB is more than a slogan. It is the art of a two-year campaign that belongs to people everywhere who are doing their part to stop TB”.
The programme manager stated that it was about celebrating the lives and stories of people affected by TB, “our country men; women and children who have taken TB treatment; nurses; doctors; our TB supervisors in the field; community workers-anyone who has contributed towards the global fight against TB”.
Dr Dafae accentuated that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target was to detect 70% of sputum positive cases and to successfully treat 85%.
At the moment, he said, “our case detection rate is 52%.”