TB Notes Newsletter
No. 2, 2007
WORLD TB DAY 2007
First Annual TB Awareness Walk
TB is the leading cause of death among those with HIV/AIDS, and
is a leading infectious disease cause of death among women in some
countries. Educating the public and raising awareness about TB was
the purpose of the First Annual TB Awareness Walk, held on World
TB Day, March 24, 2007, in Atlanta’s Grant Park.
The walk, about 2 miles long, was preceded by a program of speakers,
including Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of CDC; Dr. Kevin Fenton
(Director, NCHHSTP); Carol Pozsik (Executive Director, National
TB Controllers Association [NTCA]); and Patti Arias (RESULTS International).
In addition, DTBE’s own Regina Bess read a poem she had written
for World TB Day. The NTCA partnered with DTBE, the Fulton County
Health Department, the Georgia Division of Public Health, the American
Lung Association–Southeast Region, RESULTS International,
the Watsonian Society (a CDC employee organization), local businesses,
and others for this awareness-raising event. As a result of energetic
recruiting efforts of DTBE staff, 635 people registered online and
about 500 walkers showed up for the event – truly a remarkable
showing! We would also like to congratulate the Field Services and
Evaluation Branch, winners of the TB Walk recruiting contest!
Many CDC staff turned out for the event, some with their family
or friends. Because so many individuals assisted with the planning
and coordinating of the walk, it proceeded without incident or mishap
and was truly enjoyable. The perfect spring weather, the inspiring
remarks of the speakers, and the opportunity to raise awareness
about TB made this first TB Awareness Walk a rewarding and enjoyable
experience that we hope to repeat next year.
—Reported by Vic Tomlinson
Div of TB Elimination, and
National TB Controllers Association
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TB and HIV Analogy
Cheryl Tryon of CDC's DTBE wrote this poem while in Botswana conducting
a training course, and presented it for World TB Day 2007. Note
from Cheryl: I have conducted a number of TB and HIV trainings in
Africa while working for CDC. I learned many things from African
trainers who helped with the courses. One thing is that they use
analogies extremely well when explaining various concepts. Another
is that they ask, “Are we all together?” to gain consensus
and determine if course participants are following along. I used
both of those techniques in this poem.
To me, HIV is like an enormous fire that has spread to practically
every country in the world.
It is a fire that leaves a path of destruction as it destroys
the lives that it comes into contact with.
And TB is like an enormous drought that also leaves a path of
It too, destroys the lives that it comes into contact with.
When people have HIV, they are more susceptible to getting TB.
And in many countries, most of the people who have HIV actually
die of TB.
When there is drought, fires often erupt.
And when there are fires, there are often drought-like situations
left behind where the land is all dried up.
So there is a relationship between fire and
drought, just like there is a relationship between TB and HIV.
Are we all together?
But there is hope because something falls from the sky that can
end the fire and drought.
That hope is rain.
Our efforts as health care workers are like the rain. We -
…Teach people how to prevent getting these diseases
…Help people get treatment to cure TB
…Help people get treatment for HIV so that they can live
longer and healthier lives
…Work together to develop new skills and motivate each other
to solve all of the many problems in dealing with these two diseases
Are we all together?
When I work at my desk in Atlanta I feel overwhelmed, and my
efforts seem so small as to not make much of a difference. It
is like only one drop of rain trying to put out this enormous
fire and end this devastating drought.
But I know that if my one drop of water helps save one life or
helps one person live a longer and healthier life so they can
see their children grow, then it helps me remember that even though
my effort is small it is worthwhile.
I work with courageous coworkers at CDC and with our dedicated
partners in countries who are at the forefront of these two diseases.
Every day they work hard trying to fight these diseases.
I feel that all of our efforts, each of our drops of rain together
can create a great storm. It is a storm that can make a tremendous
difference to put out this fire and end this drought. And that
helps motivate me and feel like there is hope.
On this issue of hope, are we all together?
—By Cheryl Tryon
Div of TB Elimination
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From Us to You
Regina D. Bess of CDC's DTBE wrote this poem for World TB Day 2007
to convey messages of commitment and hope in the efforts to eliminate
TB. It captures the essence of the TB program's mission and dedication
to the communities it serves.
In 1882, Robert Koch discovered a staining technique,
And about this great scientist, today we still speak.
It enabled him to see Mycobacterium tuberculosis,
And from this process we began to determine a diagnosis.
TST, chest x-ray, and drug susceptibility test,
In our days ahead, we didn't find much rest.
And sometimes we now wonder- MDR, XDR? What could it be?
We'll put our resources together to provide appropriate therapy.
Resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, and some fluoroquinolones,
We take this challenge, continue our efforts, we won't leave you
Don't want you to complain of pills, lab tests, and all those
We just want to protect you from a deadly coinfection.
A new vaccine, new drugs, and much more DOT,
We're short of our funding, but we hear your desperate plea.
Don't want you to sing the blues like they did in the days of
But we will be precise using QuantiFERON-TB Gold.
Don't want you to give up, lose hope, or stop fighting,
We'll examine the DNA with accurate genotyping.
Don't want to hear you cry out, too late? too late? too late,
So we pledge to research, train, and educate.
Don't want to hear you moan, that old graveyard is a lonesome
Our efforts will be vigilant, and yes, we'll run this race.
Don't want you to suffer from this terrible disease,
But want you to find comfort and your mind be at ease.
We'll gather statistics, RVCT reports, and surveillance data,
We'll do it now because Now is the Time, not later.
You may be from Africa, Asia, or Latin America,
We'll send out our troops, we'll come there, you betcha!
And yes, it is a challenge to us, you see,
But we will not stop until we eliminate TB.
—By Regina Bess
Div of TB Elimination