New Collaborative Effort for Tuberculosis Treatment
March 24 is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day
Today the New Mexico Department of Health and Project ECHO announced a new collaborative effort to treat TB patients in New Mexico. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) utilizes telementoring and knowledge sharing to build primary care capacity to treat complex conditions such as TB.
According to Department of Health data, there were 50 cases of active TB in New Mexico in 2014, which is a rate of 2.4 per 100,000, compared to the national rate of 3.0. Tuberculosis is an airborne disease and is the second leading infectious disease killer in the world.
“New Mexico’s TB mortality rate is higher than the national average. TB is treatable and curable once an individual is given the correct antibiotics,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “With this new collaboration with Project ECHO, we are hoping to improve treatment and reduce TB mortality in New Mexico.”
Nurses from the New Mexico Department of Health and the Navajo Nation TB program gathered for a two day training in Albuquerque to learn more about adapting the innovative ECHO model to TB care and treatment in New Mexico. This process has effectively trained many health care personnel to treat difficult diseases in rural and underserved settings.
Project ECHO, part of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionizes medical and nursing education and increases workforce capacity to provide best-practice specialty care and reduce health disparities.
“Project ECHO is honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Department of Health to improve the care of patients in New Mexico with TB,” said Project ECHO Director and Founder Sanjeev Arora, MD.
The symptoms of active infectious TB disease include:
- A cough that does not go away
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of active TB, please contact the New Mexico Department of Health at 505-827-2473/505-827-2471 or your primary care doctor for an evaluation.
For more information, please visit the Project ECHO website.
We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Kenny Vigil at 505-827-2619 (Office) or 505-470-2290 (Mobile) with your questions.
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