All Guyanese must help stop TB by 2015
- Health Minister
Guyana Chronicle
March 24, 2007

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MINISTER of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has warned that if nothing is done now to stop the spread of tuberculosis (TB), it will become the most critical problem in Guyana by 2015.

Declaring that it is a very serious disease and must be recognised as such, he said all Guyanese must get involved in the fight against it.

Ramsammy was addressing scores of residents, doctors, nurses and other health workers at Suddie Hospital, Essequibo Coast, as World TB Day was observed yesterday, under the theme ‘TB anywhere is TB everywhere’.

“We must use World TB Day 2007 to reaffirm the fight and commitment against tuberculosis,” he exhorted his audience.

Ramsammy implored churches, schools, sport clubs and local government institutions to join in the mission against TB and expressed gratitude to the international partners for their involvement in Guyana.

Vice-Chairman of Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), Mr. Vishnu Samaroo, also speaking on the occasion, said the Government of Guyana, through the Ministry of Health, is putting great emphasis on health care for all Guyanese.

Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Orgabnisation (PAHO/WHO) Representative in Guyana, Dr. Kathleen Israel said TB had been considered a forgotten disease but there is a resurgence of it, especially with the increase in HIV/AIDS cases.

She pointed out that TB is preventable and curable but demands the commitment of everyone for the fight to succeed.

Israel noted that the PAHO/WHO involvement has been for many years and will continue in this country.

President of the Guyana Chest Society, Dr. Moti Lall said the local TB programme is working at full blast in all 10 administrative regions and there is an adequate amount of drugs available.

He agreed that TB is curable and said the government provides free treatment, through which, within another few years, the incidence will decrease.

Lall said some of the other international partners fighting TB in Guyana are the European Union, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Global Fund.