By: Andile Maqanda    

As the world annually initiates TB awareness day, the Mountain Kingdom like other countries actively partook in TB Awareness Day 2024, under the theme ‘YES! We can end TB.’ The three-day program saw many interactions and engagements in an effort to combat the spread of tuberculosis, taking place amongst different corporates.

The gist of the convention was to create awareness while also celebrating the positive progress towards TB control in Lesotho, exposing the crucial need for people to continually take action against TB. The charge was that corporates, different businesses continue to work together to eradicate TB.

It starts with each citizen harnessing unwavering support to TB patients, working to see that the immune system is always healthy. “Disease of the poor,” will end as and when corporates join hands in enhancing the lives of people living in poverty. These are communities that may be more vulnerable and less advantaged to basic needs.

More attention is needed in rural areas, as large populations of people in the highlands suffer TB and have most shortage of social determinants.

Taking into consideration the consequences of its effects, the charge was that as a country there is a role to play in ceasing the TB epidemic.

One of the healthcare attendee urged that different organizations can print this year TB Awareness slogan on branding material in an effort to reinforce the motto and the practice.

This would then mean to have, ‘YES! We can end TB’ on brand packages, posters and adverts, as a way of blowing the trumpet against TB. The sweet results being that it shall be instilled in people, thus imparting the obligation to voluntarily follow suit and take part.

“This year we deemed it necessary to involve you, since the fire of TB is a fierce one, requiring all of us, and the forefront of it,” said Minister of Health (MoH), Hon. Selibe Mochoboroane, when emphasizing TB as a global health concern, among top ten of causes of death, ranking above HIV.

Meanwhile, during the gathering at Avani Maseru the following day, the forum dived deeper into the details surrounding the ecosystem of the disease itself.  It was still asserted that more effort is needed towards combating the disease despite the readily realized effort to do so.

As it stands, NTLP has reached 286 patients through approach of phase 3 model. All 3 models were led by MoH.  Centre of excellence was invented by NTLP, and it just refers to providing the best possible care that can be given towards patients and relevant community.

Partners In Health, classified TB as either drug susceptible or drug resistant. With the former, conversion can be seen after two weeks of good adherence to treatments, while full recovery may be anticipated from six (6) to nine (9) months of taking treatment. With the former, the total number of medication dropped from 23 to 9 medications per day. Treatment is undertaken for 24 months, and the recovery starts showing from within 15 -24 months of treatment. Recommendation TB patients is to wear N95 masks.

PIH is one main noted pillar of the government in health issues, as far as TB diagnosis is concerned.

Following a TB positivity confirmation, PIH ensure support towards such a patient from the day of test acquisition. This is a reliable journey of support with such a patient from day one.

PIH incurs the patient’s emerging expenses ranging from transportation to medical services expenses. The organization also pledges and provides funding towards groceries, as quality nutrition is regarded a key mobiliser of medicinal functions.

“Adherence to the treatment is a problem when patients have nothing to eat, that is why social support comes in,” said PIH deputy director, Mrs Radebe.

In conclusion Dr. Chase exclaimed, “Let us work together to end TB,” said Dr. Chase from PIH.  Victory is assured, as long as support is given in reaching out, treating and curing everyone; Lesotho will surely be done with TB by 2030, as of now Lesotho is at six (6) percent progression towards eliminating TB and that is more than a start.