Published Friday 30 January 2015 at 9:55
Blackburn with Darwen Council health bosses have welcomed an £11.5 million investment by Public Health England and the NHS in measures aimed at eradicating Tuberculosis in England.
PHE’s plan is to work with the NHS to improve access to screening, testing and better treatment services. They aim to bring about a year-on-year reduction in cases with the ultimate aim of eliminating TB as a public health problem in England.
In 2013, there were 721 TB cases reported in the North West, an incidence of 10.2 cases per 100,000 of the population. The national rate of 13.5 is one of the highest rates amongst comparable countries in Western Europe.
Dr Gifford Kerr, Consultant in Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “I welcome the news of this investment. TB is an infection which is hard to treat and can be contagious, passing on via the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. This investment will go a long way to reducing the number of active cases and ending the disease as a public health problem in this country.”
Dr Jane Rossini, Centre Director at Cumbria and Lancashire’s PHE Centre said: ”The North West is already taking major steps to tackle TB and combatting TB is a regional and national priority for PHE. The new arrangements will help to ensure that measures are in place to reduce the spread of TB and reduce its impact on families and communities in the North West.”