• JIS News

    A lunch hour seminar for companies, in and around the downtown Kingston area, celebrating World Tuberculosis Day will be held on Tuesday March 24, at the Ministry of Health, 2-4 King Street.
    The seminar aims to educate individuals, particularly those in the corporate environment, about the disease and the required workplace response.
    In keeping with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) two-year slogan, ‘I am stopping TB’, the seminar is being held under the Jamaican theme, ‘We Simply Must Stop TB.’
    Acting Director, Disease Prevention and Control, Ministry of Health and Environment, Dr. Sonia Copeland, said that Jamaica’s theme was authorized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the WHO, after they communicated the urgency with which the Ministry is scheming up efforts to control the disease, particularly after the confirmation of a local case at the Supreme Court, recently.
    The seminar, which is being hosted by the Ministry, will feature presentations from Acting Senior Medical Officer at the National Chest Hospital, Dr. Terry Baker, and representatives of the National Tuberculosis Programme.
    “It is an opportune time to raise awareness and share with the public the National Tuberculosis Plan, which includes strategies that will assist in finding the cases, creating a profile of what symptoms are and who should get tested,” Dr. Copeland stated.
    According to health officials, tuberculosis was the number one cause of death in Jamaica in the 1930s. However, Jamaica has since managed to maintain a low prevalence rate of four cases per 100,000 of the population, or an approximate 100 cases annually.
    Despite this, however, Dr. Copeland said that the disease is on the increase, globally, and pointed to the need for heightened awareness and preventive measures to control it.
    Tuberculosis, Dr. Copeland explained, is a bacterial infection caused by the microbacterium tuberculosis, which usually affects the lungs. Symptoms of the disease include weight loss, fever and chills, night sweat and loss of appetite.
    She expressed concern about the stigma attached to persons diagnosed with the disease, adding that among the strategies in the National Tuberculosis Plan to address the issue are advocacy, communications and social mobilization at the community level.
    “We want to spread the word that tuberculosis is preventable, treatable and the drugs are available free of cost in the public health care system,” she said.

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