TB Challenge: Partnering to Eliminate TB in African Americans
Stop TB in the African-American Community Summit Draws More Than
Nickolas DeLuca, PhD (CDC), Rachel Royce, PhD (RTI International),
and Charles Wallace, PhD (Texas Department of State Health Services)
Dr. Benny Primm, Executive Director,
Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation-Urban Resource
Institute and other attendees at the 2006 Stop TB in the African-American
More than 100 individuals from myriad organizations gathered in
Atlanta to participate in the "Stop TB in the African-American
Community" summit, which took place May 16-17, 2006, at CDC's
new Tom Harkin Global Communications Center. The participants
met to discuss the nature of this public health problem, exchange
strategies, and identify ways to help address tuberculosis (TB)
in the African-American community. The summit was sponsored by CDC's
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) and RTI International.
The purpose of the summit was to
- raise awareness about the problem of TB in the African-American
- create links and build networks that will lead to ongoing activities
and strategies to decrease TB in this community.
In 2005, CDC provisionally reported 3,927 TB cases in non-Hispanic
blacks, 28% of all persons reported with TB nationally. The proportion
of cases in black, non-Hispanic persons is even greater if only
U.S.-born persons reported with TB are examined. In 2005, 45% of
TB cases reported in U.S.-born persons were among non-Hispanic blacks.
Also in 2005, the TB case rate for this population was more than
eight times higher than the rate in white, non-Hispanic persons.
Dr. Louis Sullivan
Dr. Ken Castro & Dr. Kevin Fenton
Dr. Garth Graham
The summit included keynote addresses from Dr. Louis Sullivan,
President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine and former Secretary
of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Dr. Garth Graham, Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, Office of Minority Health,
HHS. CDC leaders also addressed the group, including Yvonne
Lewis of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities; Dr.
Kevin Fenton, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral
Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (proposed); and Dr. Kenneth Castro,
Director of DTBE.
Summit participants learned about state-of-the-art research and
interventions addressing TB in the African-American community, and
learned directly from a panel of patients about their experience
having TB. The majority of the summit was devoted to participants
working in small groups to strategize actions that their organizations
may be able to implement to help eliminate TB in the African-American
community. Participants included community and religious leaders,
health care providers, public health leaders, policy and decision
makers, state and local health department staff, communications
professionals, academicians, and others.
Breakout session with conference participants
The results of the group work yielded a compilation of specific
goals and action items that summit participants committed to trying
to achieve in the next year. A summary of all of the identified
action items is forthcoming. Summit participants will maintain communication
throughout the next year and measure progress towards implementing
the action items.
Although modern medicine can prevent and cure TB, only the concerted
efforts of the community in partnership with public health and medicine
will ensure that TB is eliminated from the African-American community.
These partnerships, fostered by the summit, are a key component
to mobilizing support for TB elimination as outlined in the 2000
Institute of Medicine's Report, Ending Neglect: The Elimination
of Tuberculosis in the United States.
About the authors
Nickolas DeLuca, PhD, is chief of the Education, Training, and
Behavioral Studies Team in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination,
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
(proposed), and Rachel A. Royce, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research
Epidemiologist with RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North
Carolina. Charles Wallace, PhD, MPH, is a TB Manager in the Infectious
Disease Intervention and Control Branch, Texas Department of State
Health Services. You can contact Dr. DeLuca at firstname.lastname@example.org or
404-639-8988; or Dr. Royce at email@example.com
or 919-732-5974; or Dr. Wallace at charles.wallace@dshs.
state.tx.us or 512-458-7447.