WORLD TUBERCULOSIS (TB) DAY
Each year we commemorate World TB Day on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4,500 lives a day. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.
Jamaica is currently classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a low-burden Tuberculosis (TB) country (less than 10 cases per 100,000 population per year); with an estimated incidence of 2.9 per 100,000 population. Between 2014 and 2018, there were 544 cases of Tuberculosis confirmed and treated in Jamaica, an average of 109 cases per annum.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness aims to eliminate this disease of public health significance from Jamaica and to ensure the necessary health resources are available for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of this disease.
We salute the teams at the national, regional and parish levels, who remain committed to the prevention, treatment and investigation of TB cases in Jamaica.
TB is a curable and preventable disease. We encourage all Jamaicans to prevent transmission by practicing appropriate cough etiquette to prevent droplet spread. Persons should visit the doctor if the cough lasts longer than two weeks, and if they experience fever, night sweats and weight loss.
We invite all Jamaicans to partner with the Ministry of Health and Wellness to ensure that at-risk persons are identified, treated and managed in a non-discriminatory manner.