Number 978 • Friday, July 26, 2013

Healthcare Workers Trained In Prevention, Care And Control Of Tuberculosis
By Monique Washington
Minister of Health Hon. Mark Brantley and Dr. Judy Nisbett, Medical Health Officer.
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Thanks to a joint Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and Caribbean HIV/Aids Regional Training Network workshop 27 health professionals have been trained in dealing with Tuberculosis (TB).

The one-day workshop was held on Wednesday (July 24) at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall and focused on the Caribbean’s guidelines for the prevention treatment and care and control of Tuberculosis (TB) and Tuberculosis HIV at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall.

In 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared TB as a “global emergency” giving it increasing importance as a public health problem. It is estimated that one in three persons have the infection which can eventually lead to the active disease.

Declaring the session open, Minister of Health Hon. Mark Brantley thanked PAHO and WHO for hosting the workshop.

Hon. Brantley noted that the Nevis public health system “quite effectively” addressed the issue of prevention with its immunization program however at the local level “we on the island of Nevis are also faced with the possibility of managing this disease amongst person registered in our HIV and AIDS treatment program”.

The Health Minister added that Mantoux tests, a screening tool for TB, are offered through the public health department. He said the Alexandra Hospital provides effective care and treatment services for communicable diseases such as TB.

Hon. Brantley pointed out the importance of having such a workshop.

“It is imperative that all our doctors, nurses and other health professionals including pharmacists, lab technologists, and environment and health promotion officers strengthen their knowledge in this area,” he said.

Hon. Brantley added that the Nevis Island Administration continues to “invest in human resource development, laboratory strengthening, and other aspects of  health system development” which will contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal 6 which is to combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases which include TB”.

Also speaking at the workshop was Doctor Judy Nisbett, Medical Health Officer.

“TB is a contagious airborne disease that can be transmitted from one person to another but it is also treatable and preventable. It is a debilitating disease that requires a long course of treatment to ensure cure,” she informed.

“Today Tuberculosis continues to be a public health concern not only globally but regionally and nationally. Prevention control and treatment is important if we are going to control the spread of the disease,” she said.

She told participants that the workshop would concentrate on some key modules of the prevention, treatment and care guidelines- mainly diagnosis, treatment, TB HIV infection and the importance of appearance to treatment.