OKEECHOBEE — The Florida Deptartment of Health (FDOH) in Okeechobee County clinic staff created an awareness table in the lobby to recognize World Tuberculosis Day 2022. Each Year on March 24, people around the globe observe World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced he found a bacterium that causes TB. This discovery lead towards diagnosis and a cure.
TB is one of the world’s most infectious and deadliest diseases. This year’s theme “Invest to End TB. Save Lives.” instills urgency for the need to invest resources to fight this deadly disease.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “World TB Day is a time to recognize achievements and to renew our commitment to ending TB in the United States. You and your organization play an important role in addressing TB in your community. Too many people still suffer from TB disease. We must continue to find and treat cases of active TB disease and test and treat latent TB infection to prevent progression to disease and turn TB elimination into a reality.”
As part of FDOH-Okeechobee’s Strategic Plan, which aligns with the State Strategic Plan, Health Equity is our number one priority. Our goal to provide education on TB, supports equitable access to education and prevention. TB disease adversely affects groups that have experienced greater health obstacles based on their racial or ethnic group. Drug-resistant tuberculosis remains a public health threat. Funding gaps impede progress to end tuberculosis. According to flhealthcharts.gov, Okeechobee County showed a rate of 15.6 cases, (rate per 100,000 population), of TB in 2004 which declined to a rate of 2.4 cases of TB in 2019. FDOH-Okeechobee’s efforts to educate and treat the public have been working to reduce infections in Okeechobee County.