Newham is the Tuberculosis capital of Western Europe with the highest rates of TB in London and in the UK. In 2012, 366 residents were diagnosed with TB in Newham, a staggering rate of 117 per 100,000 of the population. The aim of the event was to educate attendees on what is Tuberculosis, and to seek feedback on issues relating to TB in Newham.
- Attendees felt that there was poor awareness of the problem of TB in Newham and a lack of understanding of what TB is. Also, the public were concerned that they did not understand why Newham has the highest rates of TB in the UK.
- Attendees felt that there was no focus on tackling the stigma which is associated with TB. Some communities believe the disease to be incurable, African communities often associate it with HIV.
- Attendees felt that TB services were focused within local GPs and hospitals and were not reaching people that do not always access GPs, especially women, young adults and adolescents.
- They felt there should be screening and treatment for latent TB infection as well as for active TB infection.
- Targeted TB awareness at schools, Mother & baby groups, Birthing classes, Faith groups and other community groups.
- Improved use of technology and media to raise awareness and break down stigma.
- Reduce the language barrier.
- Improve financial support for vulnerable TB patients throughout treatment