Recognising World Tuberculosis Day

24th of March is World Tuberculosis Day. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that is spread through the air when infected people cough or sneeze.

The disease most often affects the lungs but it can infect any part of the body, including the bones and the nervous system.

Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms, since the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body, but if the immune system weakens, such as in malnourished people, people with HIV or the elderly, TB bacteria can become active.
Around 10 percent of people infected with TB will develop active TB and become contagious at some point in their lives.

Symptoms of TB

Symptoms include a persistent cough, fever, weight loss, chest pain and breathlessness in the lead up to death. TB incidence is much higher and is a leading cause of death among people with HIV. If you experience some of these symptoms, please consult your Doctor soonest.


1. In order to reduce exposure in households where someone has infectious TB, the following actions should be taken whenever possible:
a. Houses should be adequately ventilated;
b. Anyone who coughs should be educated on cough etiquette(covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing) and respiratory hygiene, and should follow such practice at all times;
2.Avoid close contact with people who sneeze or cough profusely in public transport or areas.
3.Regular washing of hands with soap and water is very important.
4.If you live with someone who has active TB, help and encourage the person to follow treatment instructions.\
5.Be healthy: Infection with TB bacilli does not lead to disease in everyone. People, who are not healthy or have weak immune, are more likely to develop the disease than others, who are healthy. You can boost your immunity by following a healthy life style such as eating healthy, doing regular exercise, avoiding smoking etc.

Tuberculosis is curable, however, encourage anyone suspected of carrying the bacteria to seek for early treatments.

By Sampson Kwawukumey



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