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Monday, February 2, 2015. BMG: The Ministry of Health last week conducted a two-day training on Tuberculosis Infection Control in outpatient settings.

The training was conducted with input from the Central American regional office of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A government press release says that TB Infection Control is a series of activities aimed at minimizing the transmission of Tuberculosis within the population.

The focus is on early detection, proper management of TB patients and protection of healthcare workers and others from infection.

The challenge is preventing TB transmission to all vulnerable groups including those with suppressed immune systems, for example, persons living with HIV and patients on chemotherapy.

The training workshop included a review of the TB Program in Belize, sessions on the importance of preventing TB transmission, developing an Infection Control Plan, and a site visit to a health facility in the area.

During the site visit, the facility was assessed to determine the need for additional financial support and resources for TB Infection Control.

The training was conducted specifically for the Western Region which included staff from the Belmopan and San Ignacio facilities.

A similar training for the Belize District was conducted late last year. According to Dr. Francis Morey, Coordinator of the National TB Program, this training will help the Ministry identify barriers and lessons learned in the implementation of TB Infection Control; and it will also help to roll out the plan to other health facilities across the country.

In 2013, the National Tuberculosis Program recorded 121 reported TB cases.

The World Health Organization has recently revised guidelines for TB Infection Control and Belize is developing country-specific national guidelines based on these.

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