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World TB Day: Bairo-Pite Clinic calls on all entities to combat TB together

World TB Day: Bairo-Pite Clinic calls on all entities to combat TB together

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DILI, 22 march 2022 (TATOLI) – The Director of Bairo-Pite Clinic, Inácio dos Santos, called on all entities to work together in combating TB to achieve Timor-Leste’s goal of ending Tuberculosis by 2025.

Manager of Bairru-Pité, Inácio dos Santos. Tatoli’s image//Felicidade Ximenes

The theme of World TB Day 2022 – ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives. ‘ – conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

Timor-Leste is one of high tuberculosis (TB) burden countries in the South-East Asia Region, as its incidence of tuberculosis was at the level of 508 cases per 100.000 people in 2020, up from 498 cases per 100.000 people the previous year, this is a change of 2.01%.

Dos Santos said Timor-Leste was ranked the second-most TB cases in the South-East Asia Region, saying stronger and immediate action by all entities is needed to achieve Timor-Leste’s goal of ending TB by 2025: “TB affects more than 500 people in every 100.000 inhabitants in Timor-Leste, which represents the second-highest incidence rate in the Southeast Asian region and one of the highest in the world.”

Bairo Pite Clinic continues to put efforts to combat TB as the latest indicators showed rates of TB continue to rise.

“Last year, we registered 432 cases of TB. This year, from january to february, we recorded more than 80 cases,” Dos Santos told reporters, at Bairo Pite Clinic, in Dili, today.

“The role of young people in national development is crucial. Thus, I call on our young people to involve themselves in the fight against TB in the country,” he said.

Dos Santos stressed that the fight against TB, the deadliest infectious disease in Timor-Leste, will of course continue to be of the highest importance to all parties.

In september 2021, in his speech during the Signing Ceremony of Timor-Leste’s Commitment to end tuberculosis, Prime Minister Ruak said that ending Tuberculosis, a highly contagious, disabling, and sometimes fatal disease, is not only an objective defined in the National Health Plan or in the Program of the 8th Constitutional Government; it is a public health imperative and a constitutional duty undertaken towards our citizens, who wish to see the right to a healthy life become a reality.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of Timor-Leste’s leading infectious disease killers. TB is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing – one person with active, untreated TB can spread the disease to as many as 15 other people in a year,” Director of Bairo Pite Clinic, Dos Santos said.

Ending TB would contribute to solving the socio-economic problems in the country: “Many tourists are interested to visit the country, but they also want to return to their homeland in a healthy condition.”

He said, therefore, ending TB would mark a significant contribution to national development: “We can end TB by 2025, as we put an end to malaria.”

Dos Santos called on the Ministry of Health (MoH), civil society, religious leaders, local leaders, and families, to work together to combat and end TB in Timor-Leste.

“Bairo-Pite Clinic has implemented a pilot project to educate and raise the awareness of the communities in Bairo-Pite neighborhood on the prevention and mitigation of TB. We organized a door-to-door delivery of pamphlets and posters to educate and raise the awareness of all households in Bairo-Pite neighborhood on TB prevention,” he said.

More than 200 patients with TB are under treatment at Bairo-Pite Clinic with 18 patients are isolated at the Klibur Domin and ISMAIK center, in Tibar.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported that TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB, and close to 28.000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since the year 2000.

PAHO said each person commemorates World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on march 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.

Related news:MoH provides one of GeneXpert machine to Bairro-Pité Clinic to treat TB disease

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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