TB remains key public health concern – Dr Simpson

A warning was sounded on Friday that Tuberculosis (TB) remains a key “public health concern” in Guyana.

According to a Ministry of Public Health press release,  Dr Joann Simpson sounded the warning at the handing over ceremony for two vehicles to the TB programme.

Dr Simpson said that the prevalence rate of the contagious disease in the country is among the highest recorded in the Americas.

Dr Simpson is the Focal Point Person for TB in Region 3 (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara).

The two vehicles can be seen here with staff of the ministry and others (Ministry of Public Health photo)

The vehicles were donated by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which provides grants to support a number of programmes in the country’s public health sector to fight TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Last month, the release said that the Global Fund also handed over three ATVs for use in Regions One (Barima/Waini); Eight (Potaro/Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper/ Essequibo) for their TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS programmes.

Simpson said the vehicles will help health workers track TB patients who unilaterally stopped taking the prescribed medication for the contagious disease. She said the vehicles will also help the Regions Three and 10 DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short-course) initiatives.

With World TB Day to be observed Friday, Dr Simpson wants the country to remain alert about the air-borne bacterial disease which can be of the drug-resistant or sensitive type.

Patients with the former will need about two years of continuous treatment, while the latter will be treated for only six months with a cocktail of four medications to help reverse the disease, the release said. TB is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis which can attack any part of the body, but usually affects the lungs.

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