Youths key in TB fight

YOUTHS can play a leading role in the fight against tuberculosis through spreading awareness about the disease.

This emerged during the recently concluded 12th edition of the SAYWHAT National Students and Youth Conference held in Harare.

According to the latest TB report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Covid-19 pandemic eroded 12 years of global efforts in the fight against TB.

This calls for involvement of youths to raise awareness in different parts of the country using social media platforms.

Through mobilisation of youths, in different groups, they can amplify issues to do with prevention and cure of different diseases.

SAYWHAT tuberculosis champion, Elliard Kapfuma, said young people are taking TB campaign to rural areas.

“People who live in rural areas are often left behind in different issues, so we want to catch them young.

“We also have a team of TB champions in universities who have moved into societies to spread the word,” he said.

He said students should challenge the national TB strategy plan as it lacks analysis of gender dynamics on TB programming.

“There have been assumptions that people suffering from tuberculosis are HIV positive, which is not true,” he said.

TB preventive treatment for people living with HIV has far surpassed the global target of 6 million in the period between 2018 and 2021.

“We want to capacitate our TB champions to articulate to policy makers so that issues to do with the disease can be taken as a matter of public interest.”

The conference was running under the theme: “This is our time: Establishing youth friendly health centres and inclusive education for all.”

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