In five weeks of the TB/leprosy screening program, one-third of Majuro’s population has been checked, putting the Ministry of Health and Human Services on track for completing the screening of 26,000 Majuro residents by September.
The screening also confirms predictions health officials made before the start of the program on June 12 that about one-in-four Majuro residents are carrying TB. The results through July 12 show that 1,909 have “latent” (sleeping) TB out of the 6,298 people who have completed the two steps of TB screening — that is a rate of 30 percent, or more than one-in-four, with with latent TB.
The number of active TB cases is 53 — about one percent of the 6,298 who were completely screened. The ministry said those who tested positive for either active or latent TB have been put on medication. Additional drugs for treating the large number of people with latent TB arrived Monday this week.
While both Rita Elementary and Delap Elementary schools continue to be used as the screening headquarters, the RES operation will be moving to Laura by the end of the month or early August as the screening shifts focus from downtown to the Ajeltake-to-Laura area.
The second focus of the screening is to identify and treat people with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). The ministry reported this week that 18 new cases of leprosy were identified and the people were referred for treatment.
The other activity in screening program is checking people for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Of about 2,000 people screened for diabetes, 440 showed high blood sugar counts confirming that they have diabetes. This is 22 percent of those screened.
Read more about this in the July 20, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.