The National Program for the Control of Tuberculosis of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) explained that Panama acquired medicines through the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent already infected patients from developing tuberculosis.
The latest report revealed that the country registers a total of 755 new cases of tuberculosis, 46 deaths and an incidence rate of 17.53 in the first half of 2022.
Edwin Aizpurúa, National Chief for Tuberculosis Control of the Minsa, indicated that this disease is caused by a bacterium (mycobacterium tuberculosis), it is spread through the airways and consists of 4 symptoms: persistent cough for more than 15 days, fever , night sweats and weight loss.
He explained that through the Minsa, various actions are carried out based on the mechanisms implemented by the WHO that seek to reach zero cases and deaths from this disease in 2030.
He argued that among the main strategies developed in Panama are the campaigns against the eradication of Tuberculosis (TB), which consist of patients who present symptoms immediately approaching the health facilities of the Minsa and the CSS to seek their diagnosis and then start treatment for free to avoid the chain of transmission.
“We still have a large percentage (50%) of patients who are diagnosed in hospital, when they should have this test done at the primary care level in a timely manner, it is a situation that we have been reinforcing and we insist that they follow up once it is detected” said Dr. Aizpurúa.
Cutaneous tuberculin and IGRA blood tests are used to detect latent TB infection. For the disease, the Xpert MTB equipment is used and the sample is sputum.
He concluded that it is important to use masks in health facilities and important in patients with tuberculosis so as not to spread the disease.