August 29, 2002
The Department of Health’s (DOH) Tuberculosis Control Program
has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, totaling $166,810 annually for the next two years. Hawaii
was one of only three states to receive this grant, which will support
a project entitled "Improving Tuberculosis (TB) Contact Investigations
in Foreign-Born Populations."
Contact Investigation is a standard strategy for TB control that
aims to stop the spread of TB at the source case. For every new
tuberculosis patient in Hawaii, a TB outreach team works closely with
the patient’s household, social, and occupational contacts in
preventing the spread of additional tuberculosis. Contacts of cases are
offered free TB testing, evaluation, and TB preventive medicine if
Activities funded by this grant focus on foreign-born TB patients
and their contacts. In 2001, 83% of Hawaii’s TB cases were found
among people who were born outside of the U.S. This percentage of
foreign-born TB cases ranks high when compared to the mainland.
"Hawaii’s TB rate is the one of the highest in the nation with
a high proportion of foreign-born cases, which means we must take an
aggressive approach to TB control," says Dr. Jessie Wing, chief of the
state’s Tuberculosis Program. "This grant is an opportunity to
improve Contact Investigations among all foreign-born populations, both
in Hawaii and on the mainland."
For further information, please contact the Tuberculosis Control
Program at 832-5731.
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