For too long, tuberculosis has not received sufficient attention. The result of this neglect is needless suffering, in 2010 alone; nearly 9 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died, with 95 per cent of these deaths occurring in developing countries. These numbers make tuberculosis the second top infectious killer of adults worldwide.
In Uganda we saw the new cases of TB increasing from 45,000 to 49,000 people. Dr Francis Adatu, the Program Manager National TB and Leprosy says Uganda is ranked 16th among the 22 high burden countries.
He says that the impact reverberates far beyond the individuals directly affected. TB takes a heavy toll on families and communities.
Dr Adutu also says that millions of children have lost their parents. Children who are exposed to sick family members are at high risk of contracting the disease.
This year’s World TB day will be celebrated under theme: “Stop TB in our lifetime” and the main celebrations will take place in Kabale district this Saturday.
He says that far too many go untreated, since TB is often difficult to diagnose and treat in children, this year they have aim to expand awareness of how children are affected by the disease.