(SNO) — The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently visited Saint Lucia to conduct monitoring and assessments on the disease tuberculosis (TB) as officials aim to eliminate the disease by 2035.
The review of the TB work plan provided an opportunity to assess the implementation of interventions to fight TB and also to determine the progress made towards reaching the programme’s target, a release from the Ministry of Health and Wellness states.
Acting Senior Medical Officer in the Infectious Diseases Unit, Dr. Gail Gajadhar, said such an initiative is important as it will allow for improving the strategy adopted to fight and control TB.
“In terms of the work plan, what I did was go through activities that were completed; go through activities that still required completion,” she stated. “We are in the process of looking for an advocate for TB; that is something that we had hope to accomplish by the end of last year but we still have not. Going forward, there are more activities to be placed on the work plan.”
Dr. Gajadhar pointed out there is a need to advocate for TB prevention, care and control as the goal is to eliminate it by 2035.
“So, going forward, what we want to do is have persons remember that TB is still out there and the goal is to eliminate TB by 2035.
“We are a low-incidence country and we want to work towards elimination,” she stated. “So, we want to put TB on everyone’s forefront. We want persons to realize that TB is still out there. We might not have many cases, but TB is still out there. We want to capture all the TB cases, if possible, that we have and not miss any cases that might be out there, whether they be adult or pediatric cases.”
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis which usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body.
TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, or talks. If you have been exposed, you should go to your doctor for tests. You are more likely to get TB if you have a weak immune system.
Symptoms of TB in the lungs may include:
– A bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer
– Weight loss
– Loss of appetite
– Coughing up blood or mucus
– Weakness or fatigue
– Night sweats
Skin tests, blood tests, x-rays and other tests can tell if you have TB. If not treated properly, TB can be deadly. You can usually cure active TB by taking several medicines for a long period of time.