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No. 2, 2012

NEWS AND EVENTS FROM WORLD TB DAY 2012

CDC’s 2012 World TB Day Observance

This year CDC joined the global Stop TB Partnership in adopting the slogan “Stop TB in My Lifetime,” which goes with the theme of calling for a world free of TB.

On March 22, CDC held its annual World TB Day observance. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jeffrey Starke, Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. He gave a riveting presentation titled “Childhood Tuberculosis: Are We at the Tipping Point?” Other speakers included Dr. Kevin DeCock, Director of CDC’s Center for Global Health; Dr. Kenneth Castro, Director of DTBE, and Dr. Gloria Oramasionwu, EIS officer in DTBE. Dr. DeCock’s presentation focused on TB and HIV, while Dr. Oramasionwu gave a summary of 2011 provisional TB surveillance data for the United States. Dr. Castro moderated a panel discussion with the speakers after the presentations, and this generated a lively dialogue between the speakers and the audience. The event, which was held at CDC’s Global Communication Center, was well attended and was web streamed and viewed by 174 partner sites outside of CDC.

Dr. Castro presented a 2012 TB Awareness Walk t-shirt to Dr. Starke at the World TB Day event Drs. Gloria Oramasionwu, Jeffrey Starke, and Kevin DeCock spoke at the World TB Day event.
Dr. Castro presented a 2012 TB Awareness Walk t-shirt to Dr. Starke at the World TB Day event Drs. Gloria Oramasionwu, Jeffrey Starke, and Kevin DeCock spoke at the World TB Day event.

—Reported by Ije Agulefo, MPH
Div of TB Elimination

 

6th Annual TB Awareness Walk in Atlanta

On Saturday morning, March 24, 2012, staff of CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE), along with their friends, families, and partners, gathered in Atlanta’s Grant Park for the 6th annual TB Awareness Walk.

The TB Awareness Walk is held in connection with World TB Day, March 24, to educate the public and raise awareness about TB. Despite much progress, TB still remains a serious threat, especially for persons infected with HIV. TB is one of the leading causes of death among people infected with HIV, with HIV infection being the single most powerful risk factor for progressing from TB infection to TB disease. The World Health Organization estimates that 2 billion people — about one third of the world’s population — are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and TB is among the top three causes of death for women aged 15 to 44. DTBE employees want to educate others that TB is still very much a public health problem.

This event is a 2-mile walk around the perimeter of Grant Park. But it’s more than just a walk – there’s music, food, and entertainment, all provided by donations. This year, there were two musical performances, a magician, three face painters, and a clown. In addition, breakfast snacks and beverages were provided, and all participants received a free t-shirt.

As the warm-up stretching was getting underway, a flash mob broke out. CDC doctors, scientists, PHAs, nurses, administrators, students, partners, and friends entertained the crowd to the beat of Michal Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. In the snapshot below, CDC’s Bruce Heath is leading the dancers.

The morning’s events also included a program of speakers: Dr. Kevin Fenton, NCHHSTP Director; Dr. Kenneth Castro, DTBE Director; Heather Duncan, CDC Deputy Chief of Staff; Steve Valk, from RESULTS, Atlanta Chapter; and an individual affected by TB, who provided personal testimony.

In addition, Erika J. Sigman of DTBE was recognized as the winner of the first annual Victor Tomlinson Tuberculosis Awareness Award. To promote the TB walk, the event organizers announced a contest for the most creative or artistic presentation about TB awareness. Erika wrote and submitted the winning piece, a poem called Stop. Drop. Roll. (TB Remix), and read her poem at the walk. You can read her poem at the end of this article.

The National TB Controllers Association (NTCA) partnered with CDC’s DTBE in sponsoring this event. Other participating organizations included the American Lung Association in Georgia, the Clayton County Health Department, the DeKalb County Board of Health, the Fulton County Health Department, the Georgia Division of Public Health, Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, RESULTS, the Watsonian Society, and a number of local businesses. A total of 750 people registered for the walk online, and 522 t-shirts were distributed at the event.

Here is Erika’s poem:

Stop. Drop. Roll. (TB Remix)
Do you remember when we learned
‘Stop. Drop. Roll.’ For fires to be put out;
To get under control?
We acted it out
On imaginary flames,
Reciting it,
Just in case.

Now, we must Stop. Drop. Roll.
For an intangible fire spreads
Igniting suffering,
Leaving millions dead.

Now we must Stop.
Stop TB.
The disease,
The spread.

Now we must Drop.
Drop the fears that
We cannot.
We can.

Now we must Roll.
Roll out strategy,
Research, and prevention.

Stop. Drop. Roll.

—Reported by Elvin Magee, MPH
Div of TB Elimination

Nation’s First TB Flash Mob!

On March 24, the nation’s first TB flash mob made an appearance at the 6th Annual TB Awareness Walk in beautiful Grant Park in Atlanta, GA. After 8 weeks of grueling practice under the tutelage of Ofelia de La Valette, founder and owner of Dance 101 in Atlanta, CDC staff broke into spontaneous dance when the Michael Jackson song, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' began playing. Take a look at the fun time that was had by all!

Bruce Heath leading flash mob. Photo by Ken Castro

—Submitted by Wanda Walton, PhD
Div of TB Elimination

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