JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Published — Monday 25 March 2013
Last update 25 March 2013 10:03 am
The Jeddah-based Stop TB group joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Directorate of Health Affairs in Jeddah, the Ministry of Health and volunteers to launch their annual tuberculosis (TB) campaign on March 27.
The two-day Stop TB campaign to commemorate World Tuberculosis Day will take place in five big malls in Jeddah simultaneously. The Serafi Mega Mall, Mall of Arabia, Red Sea Mall, Haifa Mall and Andalus Mall are the focal points for the campaign with the aim of generating a high turnout.
For the eighth consecutive year, the youth of the Makkah region will harness awareness, focusing this year on the relationship between HIV and TB. This is the first time in which HIV and TB awareness campaigns are joined socially. The campaign will also highlight the symptoms of TB and the necessary action to be taken.
“The Stop TB group cooperated with the WHO and the Ministry of Health to initiate a Public Private Mix (PPM), relying on smart, environmentally friendly products to raise awareness. The campaign is also aligned with the creative line of driving sport,” said Mohammed Bakhrieba, leader and founder of Stop TB.
Bakhrieba stressed that preventive medicine and annual checkups are the key to a healthy lifestyle free of complications.
“The Jeddah Stop TB Youth Group has been spreading awareness and information about tuberculosis (TB) for the past 7 years to save future generations from this curable disease. This year again, a number of volunteers from various medical institutions and hospitals will take the initiative of spreading awareness in order to reach our goal of stopping the spread of TB,” he added.
The volunteers will use the digital medium to achieve the goals of the campaign and to address the Q & A sessions, which will be moderated through iPads and monitor screens.
In Saudi Arabia, the disease is under control, but there are chances of it increasing. In the past, the disease was only found in poor areas, but it has now become more prominent and is spreading. A total number of 4,015 TB patients were diagnosed in 2011 in the Kingdom.
According to a report issued by the WHO in 2011, there are an estimated 8.7 million new cases of TB (13 percent co-infected with HIV) and 1.4 million deaths from the disease, including almost 1 million deaths among HIV-negative individuals and 430,000 people who were HIV-positive. TB is one of the top killers of women, with 300 000 deaths among HIV-negative women and 200,000 deaths among HIV-positive women in 2011. Global progress also conceals regional variations, with the African and European regions not on track to halve levels of mortality recorded in the 90s by 2015.
Lambhorgini, McLaren and Lotus are supporting the campaign, offering youth the chance to test-drive vehicles once they have attended sessions on the risks of shishah and cigarette-smoking and their relationship to TB.