allAfrica recently reported the opening of two Liberian TB clinics to help combat the disease’s increase in the region. The clinics, run by Liberia’s National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Program, also can test for drug-resistant TB. According to Program Manager Dr. Catherine Cooper, patients with drug-resistant TB were not responding to regular TB treatment.
Cooper said the program has recorded 2,969 TB cases thus far in 2013, 4 percent of whom have died from the disease. She attributes these deaths to patients not going to a clinic to get tested due to fear of being stigmatized by family and community members. Cooper urges people who have had a persistent cough for more than a couple weeks to go to any nearby clinic for a physical. She also encourages communities to abstain from stigmatizing people who suffer from TB. The clinics provide TB treatment at no cost.