Health Minister Underscores Patient, Contact Responsibility In Ending Tuberculosis – St. Lucia Times News

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Declaring that ending tuberculosis in Saint Lucia is not just about investment, the Island’s Health Minister Moses Jn Baptiste has explained that it also requires personal responsibility by patients and people identified as contacts of pulmonary TB patients.

He asserted that TB can be cured but requires patients to take their medication as prescribed and for its duration.

Jn Baptiste commented in a message to mark World Tuberculosis Day on March 24.

“Latent TB has no symptoms. If you are identified as a close contact of someone who has pulmonary TB you are at risk for latent TB. Just saying you have no symptoms does not mean all is well,” the Minister disclosed.

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He noted that once latent TB is cured, a patient is not at risk for developing pulmonary TB later from that exposure.

And the Vieux Fort North MP informed that testing and treatment for TB, latent TB, pulmonary TB, and extra-pulmonary TB is free to the patients and is covered by the state, as long as they access it through the available public services.

According to Jn Baptiste, eliminating TB in Saint Lucia requires our commitment as patients to take all our medications prescribed and continue with follow-up care which involves regular medical checkups to ensure we have been declared TB free.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have classified Saint Lucia as a ‘Low burden Tuberculosis incidence country” he explained.

“What this means is that annually, we have less than 10 cases of TB for every 100,000 persons in the population. This puts Saint Lucia in a very good position to aim for the elimination of TB in our country,” the Minister of Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs stated.

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