Castries, Saint Lucia: Saint observed World Tuberculosis Day as Thursday, March 24th 2023, marked the day. It is observed every year to raise awareness, to remind the world of the seriousness of this disease, and to reflect on the progress made to date to fight the disease.
The Health Ministry of Saint Lucia observed the World Tuberculosis Day and outlined its significance.
Statement of Stanislaus James Building
Tuberculosis was the second leading infectious disease killer in the world, after COVID-19 in 2021. In many regions of the world, the HIV epidemic has driven the TB epidemic. Saint Lucia is defined as a country with a low burden incidence of TB that is TB cases do not exceed 10 cases per 100,000 population.
To maintain a low burden incidence of TB and eventually eliminate TB in Saint Lucia, it is important that persons who are diagnosed with pulmonary TB are treated because TB can be cured. Persons who are recognized as close contacts of a newly diagnosed pulmonary TB patient must be assessed for TB and if they are diagnosed with either pulmonary TB or latent TB, must be treated to be cured.
TB spreads from infected droplets of persons who cough, speak, shout or sing. The management, treatment, testing and care including medication to treat TB is offered without charge to the public. We can do rapid diagnostic tests for TB as well as tests for resistance to TB medication.
Eliminating or ending TB in Saint Lucia is not just about investment. This also requires personal responsibility on the part of the patients and persons who are identified as contacts of patients. TB can be cured; it requires patients to take their medication as prescribed and for the duration it is prescribed.
The Ministry of Health remains committed to end the TB epidemic and encourages the public to work with the health authorities to make this a reality. “Yes! We can end TB”