Bombali District grapples with a surge in the number of children diagnosed with Tuberculosis.

The airborne disease, which has become a cause for concern in Bombali District, has wreaked havoc on the district, not only recording prevalence rate but also claiming lives.

Speaking about the incidence of Tuberculosis in Bombali District, the Medical Coordinator of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Dr. Kennedy Uadiale, said from 2020, when MSF began to support TB treatment in the district, they had diagnosed around 4,584 drug sensitive Tuberculosis and approximately 235 drug resistant TB. “Since we started supporting TB treatment here in Bombali from 2020, we have diagnosed around 4,584 drug sensitive Tuberculosis and 235 drug resistant TB,” Dr. Kennedy Uadiale said.

Dr. Uadiale added that among the large number of people that have been diagnosed with Tuberculosis in Bombali District, there is a whopping 537 children that are battling with the contagious infection.

He furthered that more children are now diagnosed with Tuberculosis. “We are now able to diagnose more children with Tuberculosis. Previously, it was difficult to diagnose them, because they do not produce sputum. Now we have had other diagnostic techniques that have been recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). They have helped us to diagnose more children in recent times” he said.

Even though the hazardous disease is becoming common in the district, the undying efforts of some state actors and MSF to curb and crackdown its prevalence in are great.

Dr. Uadiale told Sierraloaded that the concerted effort of MSF in providing funds, equipment to diagnose patients, fare, et cetera, have helped to bring success stories lately, adding that the recovery rate of drug sensitive Tuberculosis is 65%, drug resistant TB is 85% for adults and 95% for children.

The Public Health superintendent of the Makeni Mission Clinic – Stocco, Mariatu Gbla, confirmed that Tuberculosis in causing devastating havoc in Bombali District, noting, “Tuberculosis is causing dangerous problem in Bombali District. In fact, the disease is more common in men than it is in women,” Mariatu Gbla said.

She furthered that patients’ unwillingness to attend treatment, among many other things, is why the disease is claiming lives in the district.

A convalescent patient, Mohamed Thulla, shared with Sierraloaded how he survived and has recovered from Tuberculosis. Mohamed said: “I want to tell everyone that l am a survival of TB. If it were not God and MSF, l would be dead by now. Due to my condition, everyone thought l would die. The disease attacked me in March 2021. Although I experienced many signs and symptoms like sweating at night, bone pain, lost of weight, lost of appetite, et cetera, l never knew it was Tuberculosis. After l was diagnosed with the disease, l was admitted to eight hospitals before going to the Makeni Regional hospital, where l got my medication. I took up to 18 months treatment”.

Thulla further advised individuals to visit the nearest clinic whenever they suspect signs and symptoms of Tuberculosis and encouraged TB patients to attend treatment. “Don’t listen to those who often say TB is not curable. If you take your appropriate treatment, you will survive it. So, l encourage all those who have been diagnosed with TB to courageous take their required treatments.” he said.