Senior managers and supervisors in the health care system will mark World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, next Wednesday, March 24, with a half-day seminar that will update them on Government’s TB programme.

The session gets under way at 9:00 a.m., at Hilton Barbados with addresses from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John.

This will be followed by the TB update, to be presented by Medical Officer of Health at the Edgar Cochrane Polyclinic, Dr. Manohar Singh, who is the country’s TB Control Officer.

Health care officials will also hear from Clinical Consultant with the LadyMeade Reference Unit, Dr. Nicholas Adomakoh and Consultant on AIDS, Dr. Timothy Roach.?? They will examine TB/HIV co-infection and TB Management in Hospital, respectively.

World TB Day commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB).

This year, it is being held under the theme "TB Elimination, Together we can", which recognises that countries can reach the goal of elimination by working together and strengthening partnerships. The theme also signifies that progress towards controlling TB will only be sustainable if local, regional and international partners and civil society share resources as they collaborate. ??And, it calls for a united effort to reach those at highest risk for TB, as well as to identify and implement innovative strategies to improve testing and treatment, among high-risk populations.

TB is spread through the air and by casual contact with people who have the disease. Its symptoms include weight loss, chest pain, fever, night sweats and coughing. Hospitalisation is required only in cases where an infected person can spread the disease through contact with other people.

The World Health Organisation recommends a strategy known as "DOTS" or Directly Observed Treatment Short-course, where the health worker observes the patient taking the medicine, so that there is no chance of forgetting or failing to follow instructions. It is very important that persons who are diagnosed with TB take all medication as prescribed, since failure to do so can result in a less curable form of TB known as Drug Resistant TB.

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