14 April

CERMEL celebrates 2018 edition of World TB Day in the fight against Tuberculosis

The 2018 World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was celebrated globally on Saturday 24 March 2018 with the Theme: “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”. To further concretise this laudable objective, a series of activities was hosted by the “Centre de Recherches Medicales de Lambarene (CERMEL), Lambarene, Gabon on Saturday 14 April 2018. Jointly sponsored by the Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Malaria (CANTAM) and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the activities for the day focussed mainly on educating participants on vital aspects of the TB disease (common symptoms, causative agents, diagnosis, treatment, transmission and prevention); and to create more TB awareness in the general population, including how CERMEL/CANTAM/EDCTP and the Gabon National TB Control Programme (PNLT) are working together through research to improve the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of TB.

The participants were made up of representatives of the Gabon Ministry of Health, Hospitals and TB treatment Centres, and major schools in Lambarene (staff & students). The programme consisted of lectures and discussion, a guided tour of CERMEL’s TB Laboratory, and a social function. The activities started with a welcome address and introduction of CERMEL by Professor Ayola Akim Adegnika (Director, CERMEL), and an opening remark by Dr Julien Meyong Békalé (Regional Director of Health, Moyen Ogooue, Lambarene).

This was followed by a series of presentations (lectures) and discussion (comments, questions and answers) session in the following order:

  1. General introduction on Tuberculosis – Dr Ronald Edoa, Research Clinician, TB Laboratory
  2. Principle of TB Treatment – Dr Romeo Adegbite, Research Clinician, TB Laboratory
  3. TB Research activities at CERMEL – Dr Abraham Alabi, Microbiologist & Head of TB Laboratory

Next was the viewing of two educative videos on TB: the 1st prepared by the Gabon National TB Control Programme (PNLT); and the 2nd prepared by the PanACEA Consortium on TB Care & Treatment in their sites at Tanzania, Malawi, and The Netherlands. Thereafter, there was a guided tour of the CERMEL TB Laboratory during which participants were divided into smaller groups taking their turns to ensure the efficacy of the process.

This was a very interactive session during which the TB Lab staff patiently conducted each group of participants through the following workstations: Microscopy; Culture & Drug susceptibility testing (DST); and Molecular Mycobacteriology. The day’s activities ended with a social function where participants and facilitators further interacted while being treated to a sumptuous meal.

Overall, the celebrations were very successful; with participants promising to carry the TB awareness campaign back to those they represent as well as the general public – boldly we can say TB IS IN TROUBLE & WE ARE ALL WINNERS!