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 were 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 in partnership with the government of Kenya, through the ministry of health, streetfootballworld, Mathare Youth Sports Association, Vijana Amani Pamoja with attendance of Girls from Mrembo project and 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.Figo was the 2000 European footballer of the year and 2001 FIFA world player of the year.
Dr.Sampaio’s visit was to provide a follow up to the implementation of his commitment with the Clinton Global initiative, which is aimed at increasing the engagement of global leaders in the fight against TB/HIV.He, was also expected to ask National AIDS Councils to systematically integrate TB in their programmes as one of the objectives of his visit.Mrembo project is keenly developing a manual for TB that it would adapt and learn alongside their reproductive health lessons. For mrembo to achieve this, it is seeking kind donations from well wisher in order to develop the manual.