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Challenging stigma around TB on World TB Day

Posted on the 20th March 2017

To mark World TB Day on 24 March, health professionals at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are challenging the taboo around Tuberculosis (TB).

Led by the World Health Organisation, World TB Day is held every year on 24 March to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of the disease and counter the stigma around it. TB remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing nearly 1.5 million deaths every year, mostly in the developing world.

Sabiha Diwan, Community TB Healthcare Support Worker in the Communicable Diseases Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “TB is a fatal disease, second only to HIV and AIDS. There is a lot of stigma around the illness with people shutting off as soon as you mention it. World TB Day is a great opportunity to dispel this taboo and get people talking. Some 9 million people fall ill each year with TB and 3 million of them don’t get the care they need.

“The illness is spread person to person and can be caught through coughing, spitting or sneezing and breathing in droplets through the air. Common symptoms include fever, tiredness, night sweats, weight loss, loss of appetite and a cough that lasts for more than three weeks. We want to ensure the messages get out there so help and support can be given at the earliest opportunity.”

World TB Day falls on 24 March each year and is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly 1.5 million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

If anyone is concerned about possible infection, they should contact their GP in the first instance. For more information about TB and the support available please contact The Communicable Disease team on: 01772 777148 / 01253 951736.