H. E. Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., President of Liberia.
H. E. Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., President of Liberia.

President Boakai Declares Sunday, March 24, as ‘World Tuberculosis Day’

The President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., has by Proclamation declared Sunday, March 24, 2024, as “World Tuberculosis Day” and is to be celebrated on Monday, March 25, 2024, as a Working Holiday.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, World TB Day mobilizes governmental, political, and social authorities to commit to the effective reduction in the incidence, prevalence, and mortality related to TB.

The Proclamation calls on the Ministry of Health, and other government agencies as well as International Organizations concerned to initiate and execute appropriate programs befitting the occasion.

The Presidential Proclamation stresses that the celebration highlights the threat TB poses to the human race as well as enlightens the world on the global initiatives and innovative actions taken to prevent the spread of TB, thereby reducing death rates in Liberia, Africa and our one world.

In keeping with its mandate to protect the health and welfare of its citizens and foreign residents, the Government of Liberia will join global health partners in observance of the World TB Day. 

According to the Proclamation, this year’s World TB Day will be celebrated under the global theme: : “YES! WE CAN END TB” with the slogan, “WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN END TB”.

This theme conveys a message of hope that getting back-on-track to turn the tide against the epidemic is possible through high level leadership, increased investments, and faster uptake of new WHO recommendations.

The proclamation added that being conscious of the dangerous effects and difficulties TB poses, Liberia joins the global community today, Sunday, March 24, 2024, to commemorate “World TB Day”.

The celebration will also provide the platform to raise public awareness about the causes, diagnosis, treatment strategies and prevention of TB.

The WHO 2023 report estimated that 10million people fell ill with TB in 2019, a number that has been declining very slowly in recent years. Also, there were an estimated 1.2 million TB deaths among HIV-negative people in 2019 (a reduction from 1.7 million in 2000), and an additional 208,000 deaths among HIV-positive people (a reduction from 678, 000 in 2000).

Men (age-15 years) accounted for 56% of the people who developed TB in 2019; Women accounted for 32% and children less than 15 years accounted for 12%. Among all those affected 8.2% were people living with HIV.

The Proclamation furthers that Liberia is classified as one of the 30 high burden TB countries in the world, with an estimated incidence rate of 314 per 100,000 population (WHO 2021), and in 2022, the program notified 7, 043 TB/HIV Co-invest; 90% of patients with TB/HIV Co-invested were initiated on ART, while the total of 148 RR-TB cases were notified during the period under review, of the 148 RR-TB cases notified 120 (81%) were initiated on treatment.