Health minister refutes allegations of TB outbreak in Dominica

Health minister Dr. Irving McIntyre

Minister for Health, Dr. Irving McIntyre, has dismissed suggestions that there is an outbreak of Tuberculosis (TB) on the island.

He was delivering remarks at the First Meeting of the first session of the Tenth Parliament on Monday.

Concerns have surfaced recently about what is believed to the prevalence of a high number of cases of the disease in Dominica.

“When we look at our TB situation, just last year we had 11 cases of tuberculosis. This year, we have 5 cases. 3 cases were confirmed; 2 cases are inconclusive…,” he explained.

According to McIntyre, the country’s laboratory has expert testing for tuberculosis.

He said, however, sometimes the issue of tuberculosis is that the health department is out of stock on some of the tablets needed to treat the disease.

“There are certain drugs you need to prevent multi-drug resistance in tuberculosis,” he said. “We have taken it a step further; we have actually gotten 5000 of these tablets, so, the idea of a stock out doesn’t exist anymore,” he indicated. “These are different interventions that we are taking.”

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. The bacteria 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.

Coughing is a symptom of tuberculosis.

If you’re infected, here are some tips to help prevent others from getting TB during your first few weeks of treatment, or until your doctor says you’re no longer contagious:

-Take all of your medicines as they are prescribed until your doctor takes you off them.

-Keep all your doctor’s appointments.

-Always cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Seal the tissue in a plastic bag, then throw it away.

Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.

-Don’t visit other people and don’t invite them to visit you.

-Stay home from work, school, or other public places.

-Use a fan or open windows to move around fresh air.

-Don’t use public transportation.

Meantime, he gave statistics of the number of Dengue cases from 2019 to recent.

“Last year we had 30 cases of Dengue per week. This year we are down to 11,” he stated. “Last year we had about 11 admissions, this year we are down to 2,” he said.

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17 Comments

  1. Nursie
    February 11, 2020

    When is the MOH and government going to stop lying to the public about this situation? Nurses and medical professionals are at risk every day, these patients are wandering the hospital premisis sans mask, the nurses have a difficult time managing these patients because they refuse to adhere to instructions and thsee nurses receive no support from their supervisors or the MOH. When a PTB patient absocunds the police even refuses to go look for the individual because they do not want to expose themselves. No one cares about these poor nurses they are simply a means to an end for the people higher up the ranks. If there is no outbreak why was there mantoux test screening for all staff of PMH last week? Why is it only now they are scrambling to build an isolation unit for these patients and there were so many cases last year? The health sector or PMH in particular is a lost cause. It’s time for Dominica to stop welcoming every single that walks into our port with open arms.

    • Pipo
      February 13, 2020

      The Mantoux test is not the most accurate to determine whether people are prone to develop full TB, blood test would be better. Anyway, we should be on our alert because the authorities would not carry out these tests if they did not think their staff may be subject to infection. I would like to hear the outcome of these tests and hope they are all negative. But it does mean that TB is present here and all known carriers should be isolated and treated with good nourishment and fresh air.

  2. Shaka zulu
    February 11, 2020

    WTF an i reading there. How can you say last year you had 11 and this year you down 5 when we are just barely finished January. You cannot equate the stats of 12 months to a month and 2 weeks. Lord help these people. The correct thing to do is compare the cases around same time last year look at monthly infection rate and determine if we are past where we were last year around the same time and determine if there is a trend. That will tell if more needs to be done or what we doing working

    • Malatete
      February 12, 2020

      Some infected patients may have died.m The data reported by our health authorities to the WHO* for 2018 (latest available) indicate a TB incidence for Dominica of 6.4 (per 100,000 population) with a mortality rate of 4.1, 50% being of whom being HIV positive split between 75% male and 25% female.

      * source Dominica, tuberculosis profile.
      http://www.who.int/tb/data

    • m
      February 13, 2020

      Thank you so much!!! and take it a step further, what if all the cases were in the last quarter of the year continuing into the 1st quarter of this year?!

      giving a snip of information like that only leaves room for further speculation.

  3. Sweet Dominica
    February 11, 2020

    Are the people migrating to Dominica being tested for communicable diseases? When Before I moved to the US I remember being tested to make sure I was not a carrier. Maybe these preventable measures need to be put into place in DA

    • Well yes.
      February 11, 2020

      When I moved to Dominica in 2005 and got a work permit I was required to have a chest x-ray and tested for other diseases.

      • Dominican
        February 12, 2020

        As far as I know this is indeed a requirement for residential settlement as are a police report and financial statement. Why these requirements are waived for citizens of Haiti and the Dominican Republic is beyond my comprehension. Any Caricom afiliated status does not mitigate risks, particularly with regard to health.

  4. Frank
    February 11, 2020

    Reading the remarks here in response to the Hon. Minister’s statement on the Health situation in Dominica’s is frightening. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing. But if the Minister, who suppose to be speaking from an informed and authoritative position can be so brutally refuted, then those who have exercised their rights to so do must not only say that the Minister is being less than honest, they have a moral responsibility to provide the evidence in support of their claim that the Minister is wrong. And that his presentation to parliament was riddled with untruths.

    Is that a situation that some people here do not want to hear any good news about Dominica. Is it a situation where they wallow and thrive on any bad news or development in Dominica?

    • Shaka zulu
      February 12, 2020

      Do you just believe everything you hear because it is coming from a person of authority. If minister is quoting stats he should make it available for world to see. Trust but verify. There is also something called propaganda. It is real if you never heard about it.

  5. Ras B
    February 11, 2020

    Very Interesting. Doc if in 12 months you had 11 cases, to have 5 cases in just over 6 weeks, to me is frightening. Do the maths, 5 in six weeks equates to 83.3%/week whereas 11 in 52 weeks equates to 21.1%/week. Tuberculosis in Dominica, Dengue, Coronavirus on its doorsteps, A ministry of health who seems clueless, Laud Help us!!

    “We have taken it a step further; we have actually gotten 5000 of these tablets (one intervention, “SINGULAR”), so, the idea of a stock out doesn’t exist anymore,” he indicated. “These are different interventions (plural) that we are taking.” IS ENGLISH ALSO A CHALLENGE? He speaks of getting 5,000 tablets, even that is deceptive. You need 4 different tablets to treat TB so when he says he has gotten 5,000 tablets, he only has enough tablets to treat not 5000 people if every individual is to get a single tablet but 1250 people; additionally, affected individuals may need treatment for several months, can we please speak the truth? .

  6. yes i
    February 11, 2020

    but of course he’s lying….smh mr not easy boy… :(

  7. Thanks
    February 11, 2020

    This is a sad time in the history of Dominica where the lawmakers are actually rejoicing over healthcare issues. How selfish, naive, and dehumanizing it is for a Parliamentarian to distort the facts and evidence to calculately state there’s an xxxxxx epidemic in Dominica. Such insults should be taken seriously, because it is meant to destroy and destabilize Dominica. The Paliamentrian boldly bragged about repeating the fireworks 💥. He went on further to reinforce his statement by saying the young people of his constituency will remember that they were denied land leases. Pleased show the results of the muder and crime rate in Salisbury. Is that the influence you have on the young people of Salisbury?

  8. langsal
    February 11, 2020

    MAC, i cannot believe your are lying to a nation with such boldface arrogance. are you saying that the other doctors lying.

    • My money
      February 11, 2020

      Ikr . My cousin there with TB so whay the h#ll he talking about..aacway martey…Gid forbid if corona virus reach is so u will lie. Stupes

  9. As I see it
    February 11, 2020

    But how is the doctor refuting the claim of TB in Dominica and then he making this statement: “When we look at our TB situation, just last year we had 11 cases of tuberculosis. This year, we have 5 cases. 3 cases were confirmed; 2 cases are inconclusive…,” he explained.
    If he confirms that last year we had 10 cases and so far this year 5 cases, that should be cause for panic because now he is not speaking as Doctor but as a politician, so it is safe to even double the amount he gave. But even if we used his number 10 last year and so far 5 this year is alot in a small island with no more than 60k people.
    But where that TB came from nou? Are they testing the Haitians, Chinese, Spanish, Iranians and other nationalities that Skerrit flooding Dominica with boy? Boy I just feel mister trying to get rid of our people by all means possible.

    • Barbara Saunders
      February 11, 2020

      As I see it

      I think he said there is no OUTBREAK. He did not say there is no TB.

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