March 24 is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. Each year the Ministry of Health joins the rest of the world in commemorating this significant day. Jamaica will observe World TB Day 2015 under the theme “ Reach the 3 Million – Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone’.
In his message to mark the observance, Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson stated that while the international theme for World TB Day 2015 remains the same as last year, ‘Reach the 3 Million’, in Jamaica we have added our own sub theme “Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone” with the goal to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with TB and TB/HIV infection through increased case detection, treatment and cure.
According to the 2014 World Health Organization Global Report, 9 million people developed TB in 2013 of which 1.5 million or 16.67% died, 360 000 of whom were HIV-positive.
Dr. Ferguson added that tuberculosis (TB) is a devastating disease. “This contagious airborne disease affects mostly young adults in their most productive years. This in itself creates a health crisis that must be tackled effectively. We can only reach the goal of a world free of TB by working together to detect, treat, and prevent this disease,” he said.
Dr. Ferguson is urging individuals with the following symptoms to visit their doctor and get tested: A chronic cough lasting for three weeks, Night sweats, fever and chills; and Sweating during sleep.