A senior health official has highlighted two areas of concern while reminding Saint Lucians that there are other important health issues that continue and may be overshadowed by COVID-19.
Senior Medical Officer, Infectious Diseases Unit – Dr. Gail Gajadhar, has called attention to sexual health and tuberculosis.
“Your sexual health is as important as your heart health, your skin health, your mental health and all other aspects of your body health,” she explained.
“If you believe something is not right, please see a health care practitioner,” Gajadhar advised.
She noted that persons do still die from HIV.
The senior health official said these are preventable deaths because there’s treatment for HIV.
According to Gajadhar, Syphilis can be treated and cured.
She also noted that Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be cured.
“Have a frank conversation with your doctor and be honest with yourself and your sexual partner. Use your condoms and get yourself tested,” she asserted.
As regards tuberculosis, also known as TB, Gajadhar explained that the disease can affect the lungs and other parts of the body.
“TB may not be common, but it can be treated and cured. Treatment for active TB in the lungs, at its shortest, is six months. Treatment is necessary because, not treating active TB in the lungs means that you can spread it to persons around you, when you cough, sneeze, speak or sing,” she explained.
Gajadhar observed that for latent or inactive TB, the shortest treatment period is four months.
She explained that curing inactive TB removes the risk of eventually developing active TB in the lungs.
“I have highlighted these specific areas to remind you that there are other important health issues that continue and may be overshadowed by COVID-19. Please do not ignore them,” the Senior Medical Officer, Infectious Diseases Unit, stated.