Minister of Health Julius Timothy is calling on the public to help prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB).
Dominica joined the rest of the International community to observe World TB Day on March 24, and according to Timothy, the Ministry of Health has made significant strides in reducing the level of TB on the island.
TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the disease.
“The Ministry of Health is strongly committed to protecting the lives of all citizens from infectious diseases including TB. Through the effective delivery of best practices which includes prevention, diagnosing and treating, not only patients with TB and or TB/HIV but the families affected with challenges of these diseases. We have had some level of success,” he said.
He noted further that a robust approach has been employed in ensuring that all persons diagnosed with TB are monitored closely and that each case is assessed and managed with the highest quality of care.
“Health Care workers are committed to prevent the spread of TB by providing; continuous education to the public; conducting contact investigation and for providing Direct Observation Treatment (DOT) of patients” he said.
Timothy pointed out that having a regular check-up is one main way of preventing the spread of TB.
“In this regard we urge the public to do the following: know your HIV status ; Have your yearly check-up even if you are not ill; Maintain cough etiquette at all times; If you know of or think you know someone who has TB or is TB/HIV positive encourage them to seek medical care; Be a source of support to someone who needs it, don’t stigmatize and discriminate against people whom you think or know to be living with TB or TB/HIV,” he said.