BANJUL, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- World Health Organization in collaboration with the Global Fund and Gambia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other relevant stakeholders are reviewing Gambia's newly developed national Tuberculosis (TB) plan for the period 2013-2017 to eliminate the disease in the country.
The five-day gathering which kicked off on Thursday will offer participants the opportunity to update the TB strategic plan based on the current general survey in order to address key strategic interventions and challenges, according to officials of Gambia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The deputy permanent secretary of the ministry, Dawda Ceesay, said during the gathering, that his department is resolved to eliminate TB in the Gambia.
According to him, the Gambian government, through the support of the WHO, has made tremendous strive in TB control.
Ceesay called for national and global efforts for TB control. He said since the establishment of African Center for Disease Control in April at the first meeting in Angola, many African countries have been trying to develop strategies to eliminate diseases in the continent.
In its 2013 Global TB Report, WHO highlighted that about 3 million people are missed every year by health systems worldwide. This means that of the 9 million people who get sick with TB a year, a third of them are missed, that is, they are not detected and reported to health authorities.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease caused by a microorganism called mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Today, more than a century (132 years to be specific) after Koch's discovery, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one-third of the global population is infected with the TB bacilli and about 1.3 million people die from the disease.