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TB Notes Newsletter

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No. 2, 2011

2011 World TB Day Activities

DTBE and State/Local Activities

This year’s U.S. World TB Day theme repeated last year’s theme of TB Elimination: Together We Can!  To commemorate World TB Day, DTBE and many others planned and carried out a variety of activities and events.

DTBE posted World TB Day activities that took place across 19 U.S. states and around the world.  These activities ranged from a World TB Day coloring contest that took place in Nevada among fifth graders; to a TB Walk in Atlanta; to TB educational talks that were held in Washington, DC, Florida, Illinois, and other states.

There was a great turn out for the TB Awareness Walk on Saturday, March 19, at Grant Park in Atlanta. While the main sponsor was the National TB Controllers Association, many individuals and groups contributed to make the event successful. There were over 1,500 online registrations, and well over 900 people showed up to participate.

In honor of World TB Day and to provide CDC and its external partners with a prime opportunity to hear about and discuss TB/HIV-related problems and solutions, on March 24, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden hosted a special session of CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds entitled TB & HIV: A Deadly Duo. The event took place at Roybal Campus, from 11 am to 12 pm, and turned out to be very successful. Presentations were given by Drs. Jay Varma, Kevin Cain, Taraz Samandari, Mario Raviglione (WHO), and Thomas Frieden. Over 17,000 viewers tuned in for the webcast of this Public Health Grand Rounds event.

The CDC World TB Day Observance also took place on March 24 at Roybal Campus, from 1 pm to 2:30pm. The keynote speaker was Dr. Alan Hinman, Senior Public Health Scientist at The Task Force for Global Health in Atlanta and former director of our Center (when it was called the Center for Prevention Services). Other invited speakers were Dr. Kevin DeCock, Director of CDC’s Center for Global Health; Dr. Kenneth Castro, Director of DTBE; and Dr. Bisrat Abraham, EIS officer in DTBE. This event was also well received.

World TB Day continues to provide an opportunity for those working in TB control to communicate TB-related problems and solutions and to support worldwide TB-control efforts. We hope you will continue to share your World TB Day stories with us!

—Reported by Ije Agulefo, MPH
Div of TB Elimination

Around the World on World TB Day

Gaborone, Botswana
Gaborone District hosted a 2011 National TB Day commemoration on March 24, 2011, in Gaborone, Botswana. The theme of this event was “On the Move Against TB: Transforming the Fight Towards Elimination.” The annual event aims at empowering the community with information and raising awareness of TB disease and treatment. CDC Botswana has been involved in this event; Rosanna Boyd, Principal Management Officer, participated in planning meetings and attended the event on the 24th.

Additionally, CDC Botswana participated in activities in Francistown in commemoration of World TB Day. On Saturday March 19, 2011, CDC Botswana staff attended a community event to provide health education and TB awareness talks at the Light and Courage Coping Centre in Francistown, Botswana. CDC Botswana also collaborated with two local clinics and a local mining company to conduct intensive TB case finding and provide TB education.

Southeast Asia Region
The Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Global Fund, and Raks Thai Foundation jointly hosted a World TB Day event and TB awareness campaign at the largest railway station in Bangkok. The campaign distributed TB messages related to the upcoming national TB prevalence survey plan, and general information about TB prevention and care in communities. CDC and USAID jointly hosted a booth at the event. The highlight included speeches by the Minister of Public Health, a contest of innovative TB promotion materials, a TB risk assessment, performances by Thai traditional and popular singers, and fun games and quizzes.

Stockholm, Sweden
To mark World Tuberculosis Day on March 24, 2011, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) highlighted the importance of eliminating childhood TB in the EU/EEA. Among other activities, on March 18, ECDC launched a special theme site on childhood TB, entitled “Spotlight on tackling tuberculosis in children: towards a TB-free generation.” This site features ECDC’s three key messages on childhood TB as well as the latest surveillance findings and a report on TB surveillance in Europe (2009), a short video on “Childhood Tuberculosis in the EU,” and a documentary produced in collaboration with Euronews on children with TB in Europe (“Euronews science special: Tuberculosis in children,” aired March 21). Furthermore, on March 17 and 18, ECDC collaborated with the Stop TB Partnership in hosting an international meeting on childhood tuberculosis in Stockholm, Sweden.

—Submitted by Kawi Mailutha, MPH
Div of TB Elimination

Perseverance Celebrated at This Year’s World TB Day in Kisumu

Pamela Juma, Happy in her work as a TB Administrator

Pamela Juma, happy in her work as a
TB Ambassador

When Pamela Juma, a widow with five children, was diagnosed with TB for a second time, she knew she was in for a difficult time. “By the time I went to Russia hospital, the Provincial General Hospital (PGH) in Kisumu, I looked bad and my family had given up on me.” To make matters worse, she learned she was HIV positive at the same time. Pamela was unable to work for more than a year while she recovered. “My two oldest children had to drop out of school because of no school fees and no food, and my eldest child began selling plastic bags in the market so we could buy food,” she said.

Though the recovery was long, Pamela is now TB free and has been taking good care of herself ever since. She says the thing that gave her the most support when she most needed it was joining the patient support group at the hospital. And as she grew stronger during her recovery, she realized she wanted to do something to help others in similar situations. “I saw a lot of deaths from TB in my neighborhood and I wanted to do something.” Pamela was lucky because while she was in the support group, the ministry of health began a training program for community health workers. After her training, she began volunteering at the hospital. Later KEMRI/CDC offered more specific training in TB, and she became a TB Ambassador working in her community. She started speaking at community gatherings (Barazas) about her TB recovery experience and HIV status, and her neighbors really began seeing her as someone they could confide in.

Pamela Juma (2nd from right) entertaining the crowd with other TB Ambassadors at World TB Day, Kisumu

Pamela Juma (2nd from right) entertaining
the crowd with other TB Ambassadors
at World TB Day, Kisumu

Today Pamela works with TB researchers on a pilot program for directly observed therapy (DOT) in Manyatta, an informal settlement in Kisumu East district -- a district that saw 2,909 confirmed cases of TB in 2010. This program is in preparation for the KEMRI/CDC TB Trials Consortium drug trial set to start in 2011. Basically, a TB patient registered at the PGH is assigned to a community health worker (CHW) residing in their locality. Every day the CHW visits the patient’s home to observe and document the patient taking their TB medication. They also remind patients of scheduled follow-up visits. Pamela is currently visiting four TB patients every day in their homes. “Everyone is very supportive and welcomes my help,” she said. She has so far identified one case of drug-resistant TB among her patients, and only once did a man refuse her help. He changed his mind, though, when one day his daughter asked Pamela to take him to the hospital because he had deteriorated. “He is now one of the people I follow each day, and he is doing well.” So far researchers have seen a marked reduction in defaulters, with 140 patients enrolled in the program and 40 of these patients completing treatment successfully.

—Reported by Alan Rubin
KEMRI/CDC Field Research Station

 

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