Stopping TB in Our Lifetime: URC Programs Recognize World TB Day 2013

URC programs will use World TB Day, March 24, 2013, to raise awareness of TB. The date marks the second year of the two-year Stop TB in My Lifetime campaign. The following is a summary of URC's participation in TB Day awareness-raising events, with links to additional information.

TB Program South Africa
By Silvia Holschneider, Senior Technical Advisor, and Manith Hang, Project Coordinator

URC's US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded TB Program South Africa will kick off World TB Day 2013 activities in Cape Town, South Africa. The TB program joins the global Stop TB Partnership in their call to "Stop TB in My Lifetime" by focusing on TB in children. To help improve TB care and prevent TB deaths among children, the program will release a new public service announcement and posters to encourage parents to have their children tested and treated for TB at their nearest clinic. Commemorative soccer balls, t-shirts, backpacks, and other items will be distributed throughout the day to call attention to the importance of TB prevention and treatment, especially in children. The program is also coordinating with our 48 local nongovernmental organization partners to host events and activities for World TB Day in other communities.

Last but not least, the program will highlight TB in prisons, which are favorable sites for the spread and development of drug-resistant TB. In collaboration with the National Department of Health in Western Cape, inmates at Pollsmore Prison will be screened for TB. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will address the public at the prison, explaining how inmates are identified in the National Strategic (Health) Plan as being at high risk of contracting TB. The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi; the Minister of Correctional Services, Mr. Sbu Ndebele; and Member of the Executive Council for Health, Mr. Theuns Botha, are also expected to attend.

Georgia Tuberculosis Prevention Project (TPP)
By Jessica Yaman, Project Coordinator

The TPP will be collaborating with the Welfare Foundation and the student self-governing organization at Tbilisi State Medical University to organize a street walk in Tbilisi and other public appearances in five regions in Georgia. The First Lady of Georgia, the US Ambassador, and other government officials will attend these events. Students will distribute educational materials explaining how to stop the spread of TB and other materials with the message "Stop TB in My Lifetime" to raise awareness that TB is curable and can be stopped in the medium term.

In addition, a photo exhibit will be organized at Ksani Koloni in collaboration with the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance. The exhibit will display the photos of Georgian celebrities holding TB-related messages. The event is geared toward decreasing the stigma of TB and encouraging people to seek early treatment for TB symptoms.

Indonesia
By Maria Insua, Senior Technical TB Advisor

URC's Community Empowerment of People Against Tuberculosis (CEPAT) project in Indonesia will call attention to World TB Day by participating in a walkathon in Jakarta. Hope Worldwide Indonesia is organizing the event and expects to attract the participations of numerous government officials and international organizations. The project will distribute commemorative hats with the project logo.

Photo (right): URC staff member Maria Insua (center left) and Hope Worldwide Indonesia staff help raise awareness about TB during a walkathon in Jakarta on World TB Day 2012.

TB Care II
By Alisha Smith-Arthur, Associate Director, and Manith Hang, Project Coordinator

Bangladesh

The TB CARE II project will participate in a rally—jointly planned with the National TB Program—in the capital city of Dhaka. The rally will cap off a nationwide effort to raise awareness of TB, increase knowledge of the signs and symptoms of TB, and advise people where to access TB treatment services. In addition, TB CARE II has organized a series of small events in several districts; these events will incorporate messages from community and folklore to spur dialogue about the dangers of TB.

Malawi

The Malawian Ministry of Health will use World TB Day as a platform to remind citizens that:

  • TB is curable and that everyone with a cough lasting two or more weeks should seek care for a diagnosis,
  • TB patients should take all the prescribed TB drugs as scheduled for the duration of treatment (to avoid a more serious form of TB),
  • Everyone should always to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of TB,
  • All children aged five years and below should be screened for TB if a family member or someone from the same household has pulmonary TB, and
  • No one should stigmatize TB.

Date 
March 22, 2013