The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Abator Thomas, during a conducted tour of the Tuberculosis (TB) and Leprosy facility at Lakka on Saturday, learnt that families often abandon their relatives at the health centre.
The matron of the Lakka health centre, Sis Margaret Caulker disclosed to the Minister during her tour which was part of her agenda on the commemoration of the World TB Day that “some of the patients are having physiological problems which is making them not to be responding to treatments”.
She explained that, “this is due to the fact that some of these patients are often abandoned by their relatives at the health centre which now has 7 females and 16 males”, noting that they were traumatized as a result of the stigma.
In a statement earlier on behalf of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Sierra Leone, the Country Representative of the World Health Organization, Dr Felicitas Zawara said “TB remains a public health problem in Africa and over one million new TB cases are registered every year”.
She explained that ministers of health in Africa, including Sierra Leone, adopted a Resolution in August 2005 calling on member states to declare TB a public health emergency and to accelerate the fight against the disease.
She urged the political leaderships in all member-states to dedicate adequate resources to the fight against TB and champion the call to attain universal access to high quality TB services.
Mrs Thomas called on all Sierra Leoneans to do the test, noting that checkup and treatment “is free of cost”.
The minister added that, “TB is curable and patients should be given the love needed and not stigmatized”.