With Ealing currently having the second prevalence for tuberculosis (TB) across London, councillors and Ealing TB Awareness Service have launched a messaging and awareness campaign in the borough to ensure residents can also do their part to bring the numbers down.
The NHS, says of tuberculosis: “It is a bacterial infection spread through inhaling tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. It mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect any part of the body, including the tummy (abdomen), glands, bones and nervous system.”
It is a serious condition but can be cured if treated early.
Staff from Ealing TB Awareness Service, which is run by Ealing Community Partners, held a outreach session at the West London Islamic Centre in West Ealing to let more people know about the infection and how to treat it.
Councillor Daniel Crawford, who chairs the Health and Adult Social Services Standing Scrutiny Panel said: “It’s been a real pleasure for me as a councillor on the health committee in Ealing to see the excellent work of the TB Awareness Service here at the West London Islamic Centre. There’s a lot of passion from staff ensuring we spread positive health messages to make sure people get tested.”
He added: “It’s concerning that we have such a high prevalence rate of TB in Southall, the second highest prevalence in London. We all need to work together to tackle this problem, not just in GP practices, but everywhere in the community. The key messages are – if you’re yet to be tested make sure you book in – also make sure you have those discussions with friends and family members. If we stop it early, everyone in Ealing will be able to lead healthier lives.”
Abdi Ali, health improvement facilitator at West London NHS Trust, said: “The West London Islamic Centre event was a success. Our message reached over 2000 people. A high number referred to their GP and we booked their latent TB test. I have noticed that many people are unaware about TB symptoms and the high rate of TB in the community and so we need to continue reaching out to people to spread awareness about TB.”