MSH Commemorates World TB Day 2011

World TB Day is here again on March 24! This is the second year of a two-year campaign, “On the move against tuberculosis– Innovate to accelerate action”, aimed at inspiring innovation in TB research and care.  On March 24, 2011, MSH projects and partners in Afghanistan and Ethiopia supported by the USAID-funded Tuberculosis Control Assistance Program (TB CAP), are celebrating World TB Day, using the event as an opportunity to raise awareness from the community to the national level and expand each country's efforts to prevent and control tuberculosis.

Afghanistan

TB CAP-Afghanistan, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has a strong history of taking a lead role in organizing nationwide World TB Day activities. Through these events, MSH will increase healthcare workers’ commitment, information sharing, and community awareness about TB to the benefits of early case detection, diagnosis, and quality treatment.

[Schoolgirls signing Afghanistan’s World TB Day song on March 24, 2010]Schoolgirls signing Afghanistan’s World TB Day song on March 24, 2010

Last year, the following outcomes were achieved:

  • All 34provinces (24.5 million people) received TB information/awareness through banners, calendars, posters, flipcharts, brochures and sport uniforms.
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  • At least 12,000 female and male attendees (school students, schoolteachers, officials) participated in 60 TB school quizzes in 19 provinces.
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  • More than 19,500 attendees and 684 players participated in 20 soccer, cricket and volleyball matches in 19 provinces.
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  • At least 31,000 health workers, local, community, and religious leaders, including community health committee members, participated in World TB Day Celebrations in 310 health facilities in 19 provinces.

[Winners of a soccer match in Jawazjan province celebrate on World TB Day 2010.]Winners of a soccer match in Jawazjan province celebrate on World TB Day 2010.

This year, TB CAP-Afghanistan is again working in close collaboration with the National TB Program and other Stop TB partners to make World TB Day a significant and influential event. TB CAP is providing technical and financial support to the Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization Working Group, developing and distributing TB-infection control educational materials nationwide and participating with community leaders, community health committee members, religious leaders and Local and National authorities to develop and display World TB Day banners in more than 320 health facilities across 20 provinces. TB CAP-Afghanistan has also been helping to prepare unified World TB Day celebration agendas to ensure a cohesive and united approach.

Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) will commemorate World TB Day on March 24, 2011 in Bora, East Shoa Zone, a TB CAP-supported zone in Oromiya Region. East Shoa will be recognized for its high performance in community-based TB care, and will be encouraged to share best practices and lessons learned with other zones in the country. East Shoa was one of seven zones that TB CAP/MSH has supported in such areas as strengthening TB laboratory services at the health facility and Regional level, expanding community-DOTS services, and improving TB case detection, drug supply management, and recording and reporting.

The USAID-funded TB CAP-Ethiopia, where MSH plays a significant role with lead KNCV and partner WHO, was active on the 2011 World TB Day commemoration steering committee and printed six thousand t-shirts for the FMoH with World TB Day slogans on them in three languages.

[Participant wearing the 2010 World TB Day T-shirt at last year’s commemoration.]Participant wearing the 2010 World TB Day T-shirt at last year’s commemoration.

TB CAP has also worked to educate the media about TB and the commemoration. Last September, TB CAP trained journalists and public relations professionals on the basics of TB, TB-infection control, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the role of the media in TB control activities. Those trained formed their own media forum called the TB Media Forum.

In preparation for World TB Day, TB CAP conducted a one-day refresher workshop last week for these media forum members. An update was given on TB, MDR-TB, and new drug treatment regimens that are currently being introduced in Ethiopia. The session emphasized the importance of drug adherence and the role that the media can play in creating awareness about TB. The media forum members will be attending the World TB Day commemoration, not only to report on the World TB Day activities, but also to learn about the best practices of East Shoa, which they can use as a reference in future communications.

 

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