Helou Representing Hasbani on World Tuberculosis Day: We Commit to end this Epidemic by 2030
NNA- The Ministry of Public Health and the National Tuberculosis Program commemorated World Tuberculosis Day in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Organization for Migration during a ceremony held at the premises of the Ministry under the theme “Towards a world free of Tuberculosis”. The ceremony was held under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani represented by the Director of the Medical Care Directorate Dr. Joseph El Helou, with the participation of the WHO Representative for Lebanon country office Dr. Gabriele Riedner, the Director of the Mission of the International Organization for Migration Fawzeh Zouyoud, the Coordinator of the Pulmonary TB Program Dr. Hiyam Yaacoub, representatives of World health Organizations, the syndicates of hospitals and physicians, representatives of the security agencies and officers from the Ministry.
“In spite of all the efforts exerted, the TB is still causing the deaths of people more than any other communicable disease around the world,” said Dr. Helou on behalf of the Minister of Public Health.
“In view of the security disturbances in the neighboring region, the number of refugees crossing into Lebanon and that of people coming from countries of high TB rate, the percentage of incidence increased by 25% and that of non-Lebanese TB patients rose from 17% to 57% between 2006 and 2017,” he added.
“We are committed to end the TB by 2030 by expanding the activities of TB prevention and the treatment of patients, working on achieving the goal of the universal health coverage for everyone in collaboration with the HC providers in both public and private sectors in order to reach the highest rate of TB case detection.”
“Lebanon is committed to eliminate TB through a strategic plan for the five years to come. This plan focuses on addressing challenges, such as reaching the most vulnerable groups of refugees to enhance case detection and improve treatment,” said the WHO Representative for Lebanon country office Reidner.
“There is another important challenge I would like to focus on; the quality of the TB test. Even though the laboratory facilities are available throughout the country, the quality control and assurance are not duly considered everywhere.”
“The International Organization for Migration is proud of its partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and the National Program since 2014, and we have all witnessed the development of this program through the promotion of human capacities, the development of diagnostic kits and the up-to-date follow-up. Although Lebanon is a low-burden country as to TB, but it is time to definitely end TB in Lebanon,” stated Najem.