On December, 1 2009-Nairobi, Kenya-The United Nations secretary General’s special Envoy to stop Tuberculosis (TB) visited Kenya in a bold initiative to fight the spread of one of the biggest killer disease on the continent. The mission was organized by the Stop TB partnership in close collaboration with UNAIDS.
Dr.Sampaio, who is also a former president of Portugal, was asking stakeholders including governments to take an active role in helping people in need to gain access to accurate TB diagnosis and effective treatment.
TB is a major health issue in Africa and kills nearly two million people every year around the world even though it can be cured with six-month course of drugs that costs only US$20.
Dr. Sampaio reiterated his request to Ministers of Health in Kenya and Africa and NGOs to set ambitious national targets and mobilize the funding necessary to reduce the number of people living with HIV who die unnecessarily of TB.
His visit coincided with the Worlds AIDS Day, which is marked annually on December 1st across the globe.In Nairobi an educational workshop for school children focused on various aspects of the disease including its prevention and treatment.Mr.Wilfried Lemke, the UN secretary General’s special Adviser on sports and development and peace and Kenya’s minister for youth and sports, Dr. Sambili was also on hand to join Dr.Sampaio on a football tournament for boys and girls aged 12-14 years.
The tournament which was held at Mathare Depot featured 24 seven-a-side teams aimed at creating more awareness about TB through sports. The initiative was organized by Vijana Amani Pamoja, MYSA, streetfootballworld, Alive and Kicking among other organizations.
The stop TB partnership distributed educational comic books featuring the international Portuguese football star and stop TB Ambassador Luis Figo as the main character. The comic books which target children and young adults with key information on tuberculosis were distributed to all the participants.
Vijana Amani Pamoja is very much privileged to be honoured by streetfootballworld, WHO and other organizations to be amongst the implementing organizations. Through this great experience on TB,VAP is on the process of developing a Stop TB manual that would be used to deliver the TB messages similar to the one of HIV/AIDS which is currently being used. We would therefore urge our donors through Global Giving and others to make a generous contribution as we aim for this initiative.