“Unite to End TB”- Guyana on board the ‘End TB by 2030’ campaign
By Stacy Carmichael-James
An estimated fifty thousand people in the Americas have Tuberculosis but do not know and Guyana is not an exception as such it has hopped on board the End TB campaign.
The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Public Health has included the goal to end TB in its National Strategic Plan 2015-2020, as a priority action.
PAHO/WHO Country Representative Dr. William Adu-Krow speaking at an event held in observance of World TB Day on Friday informed that the End TB Strategy was approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2014 following an in depth evaluation of the trends in morbidity and mortality achieved from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000-2015.
This, he said raised the bar for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with challenging indicators to be reached for 2030 and 2035 with the End TB Strategy.
Persons who are vulnerable or affected by TB would be placed at the center of this campaign. Dr. Adu-Krow raised the concern that people who are affected or concerned about TB are not as vocal as those affected by HIV/AIDS, noting that if the country is serious about ending the disease by 2030, then all must be involved.
Meantime, Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr. Karen Cummings said TB requires a concentrated, unified effort by all stakeholders in order to realize the goal of ending the disease by 2030.
Quite appropriately, Dr. Cummings said World TB Day provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and to advocate for more strategic efforts to eliminate it.
Lack of information about TB prevalence, nature of the target population and proper methods of screening together with improper medical management of the disease can also contribute to TB transmission.
The Minister noted too that one of the important activities the Public Health Ministry recognizes is the collection and interpretation of data of the level of infectious diseases in Guyana. A 95 percent treatment success rate was achieved at the Linden Chest clinic she informed.
She assured that the disease is always under constant surveillance.
World TB Day was celebrated this year under the theme “Unite to end TB.”