Public Health Strengthening in Guyana

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Mar 24, 2004

World TB Day Noted in Both Canada and Guyana

Every year on March 24, the world celebrates World TB day because, each year, nearly two million people die of TB, despite the existence of inexpensive and highly effective treatments. TB is the most common infection among – and the leading killer of – people living with HIV/AIDS. HIV/TB co-infection has caused TB rates to soar in many countries, and the dangers posed by this spread are compounded by the appearance of drug-resistant strains. Like HIV, TB can be prevented and treated; unlike HIV, it can also be cured.In the words of Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

"TB continues to ravage societies especially in underdeveloped countries. It is tragic that this debilitating disease, so widespread that it is known in every corner of the globe, has not been brought under control. The problem is huge, medical authorities cannot overcome it alone. They need our help, you can make the difference... Share the responsibility and share the reward of knowing you are saving lives. I am living proof that TB can be beaten. Every breath does count, so stop TB now and let people live!"

In Canada, the day was noted via the World TB Day 2004 Conference in Ottawa, which had as its theme, Two diseases, one person: Advocacy and collaboration for TB and HIV. CSIH's Guyana Project was well represented at this conference, with presentations by Project Director Roumyana Benedict and our principal TV expert, Dr. Earl Hershfield, with the assistance of Emiliya Ilieva, Adriana Trajtman and Brian Hershfield.

In Guyana, World TB Day say the official launch of the project's DOTS programme for East Coast Demerara, featuring the Minister of Health, Leslie Ramsammy. DOTS, the internationally approved treatment strategy for TB, is the most effective means of administering treatment, curing patients, reducing transmission and preventing the development of drug resistance. CSIH's involvement includes the training of new DOTS workers and the provision of motorbikes to allow workers to more efficiently visit patients.

Please see our Newsletter article on the DOTS launch.

Minister Ramsammy on one of the new DOTS bikes

A DOTS worker takes to the road

A DOTS worker gets her kit together

TB patient receiving meds from a DOTS worker