Letter to Bebe Cool, TB Ambassador

Bebe Cool, hearty congratulations on your nomination as the CELEBRITY TUBERCULOSIS AMBASSADOR for Uganda’s camping to end tuberculosis (TB). On your nomination and as you headed to the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending TB, it is reported that you said this of your role:

To support the Uganda Stop TB Partnership, Ministry of Health and UNOPS in the campaign to end tuberculosis in Uganda is a big responsibility that me and many Ugandans should embark on to save lives that are lost each passing day because of this killer disease. Am proud to take on this responsibility for my motherland Uganda.

I am among those Ugandans who are honoured to be actively contributing to the fight against TB in Uganda and I would like to bring to your attention the work of our organisation, CPAR Uganda Ltd, and in particular our research findings on TB in Uganda, which we have shared through a special page on our website titled: “Tuberculosis”.

Our initial preliminary findings we have shared through an interview on NTV, which you can watch and listen to here. On the basis of a more detailed analysis of our findings we shared our preliminary findings for Uganda in a short video drama that we produced working in close collaboration with Mr. Philip Luswata and Mr. Emmanuel Owaraga. We invite you to take just 10 minutes of your time to watch our video, “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, it will greatly inform you of the major TB related issues in Uganda.

So far we are done with the detailed analysis of our findings for Greater Northern Uganda and we have published four research findings briefings as follows:

Tuberculosis the Silent Epidemic in Uganda’s Greater Northern Region in which we have shared that “Several of the respondents in the CPAR Uganda study expressed anxiety that “something must be done urgently to handle the issues of TB, because it is on the increase”, as one respondent asserted. And, moreover, “TB does not have the boundary. It is not a poor person only who is dying of TB, even rich ones, even educated ones, they are dying.” Continue to read here.

The Tuberculosis Suspicion Index Uganda’s Greater Northern Region in which we have shared that: “Like, first of all, people are not exposed. Like if I talk of exposed, people they do not know much about the transmission of tuberculosis (TB). Because, may be you can have someone in the house, they have been coughing for three weeks, your head cannot even run (think) that the person is suffering from a TB. But people don’t mind. They just stay like that. So a person will keep on coughing where people are. And you know TB germs with cough, they just fly like that,” testified a respondent in the CPAR Uganda study.” Continue to read here.

Tuberculosis Treatment Drugs Uganda’s Greater Northern Region in which we shared that “There has been a change of policy in the manner in which the GoU accesses PTB treatment drugs to patients, as a CPAR northern respondent, for example, explained: “I would like to refer to direct observation therapy (DOT). I think that one (DOT) worked for some time and disappeared. Now they trust patients, they give them drugs (to take on their own unobserved by medical personnel). Placing the onus on the patients to be the ones to take the initiative to access treatment drugs, according to CPAR northern respondents, has created two categories of PTB patients.” Continue to read here

Social Support and Tuberculosis in Uganda’s Greater Northern Region in which we shared that: “Not sharing with others the room, cups and plates, that can make your life hard. You imagine someone is not sitting with you like they used to. That thing can make your life to be hard. And even your life span cannot take long, because now you are isolated from other people,” testified a CPAR Uganda Ltd study respondent.”  Continue to read here

It is our expectation that before the end of this year, 2018, we will complete the detailed analysis of our findings from the other parts of Uganda and that we will publish the necessary policy briefings.

Once again, congratulations on your appointment and we wish you the very best as you contribute to the eradication of TB in Uganda. And if you find our research findings useful as you fulfil your role and as you engage in active citizenship to end TB in Uganda, great!

Photo credit: Ms. Norah Owaraga, CPAR Uganda Managing Director with Bebe Cool.

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