Our screening van draws the crowds on World TB Day

The E-DETECT TB mobile x-ray unit was at the centre of events in Romania to mark World TB Day 2019.

Ana-Maria Duca, of Bucharest’s Marius Nasta Institute and E-DETECT TB, tells us more:

“Although World TB Day is celebrated every year on 24th of March, in order to gain the media attention we started earlier and on the 21st of March 2019 there was a press conference at the Ministry of Health in Romania with speeches from the Minister of Health – Mrs. Sorina Pintea, the Manager of Marius Nasta Institute – Dr. Beatrice Mahler-Boca, the National Coordinator of TB Control Programme in Romania – Dr. Ioana Munteanu, the President of Romanian Pneumology Society – Prof. Ruxandra Ulmeanu, Head of the Pneumoftiziology Department at the Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Carol Davila’ – Prof.univ. Dr. Florin Mihălțan.

“From the national media the conference was covered by the most important trust such as: Pro TV, Antena, TVR, Digi24.

“The Minister of Health and the National Coordinator of TB Control Programme presented the latest statistical data which show the continuous decrease of TB incidence in Romania, due to the efforts and dedication of the TB doctors, the support of international financers and of the Ministry of Health.

“The Minister reminded the official launch of the screening TB programme in November 2018 and announced the media that the E-DETECT TB mobile x-ray unit (MXU) is placed in front of Ateneul Roman, in the center of Bucharest, and that after the conference is finished she will go and have her chest X-ray taken in the MXU. (Ateneul Roman is one of the most historical and representative buildings for Bucharest and for Romania, this is the home of the Romanian Philarmonica and where a lot of the important concerts are organized).

“As per her announcement, the Minister arrived at the MXU and Ateneul Roman around 6 o’clock in the afternoon where the media was waiting. The Minister indeed had her chest X-ray taken in the MXU and she received the CAD4TB score and confirmation from the doctor that everything is well. Afterwards she came out of the MXU and explained step-by-step to the media the process and encouraged people to come to the E-DETECT TB MXU and do TB screening. Furthermore she announced that for the next 3 days, until 24th of March the MXU will be parked in front of Ateneul Roman and everyone is welcomed to come and have a chest X-ray.

“The event continued with a session of photos in front of the MXU, the landmark building Ateneul Roman and the 2019 logo ‘It’s time to stop TB’.

“After the extraordinary support that the Minister has proved, together with the project team and volunteers from the MDR TB Patient Association, Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, we discussed with people and invited them to come and have their X-ray taken. Personally I talked to tourist from Spain, Lithuania, France who were curious about the event and congratulated us for what we are doing, and with a migrant from Syria living in Romania and another one also from Syria but living in Germany and visiting Romania which I convinced to have their chest X-ray taken. Also a couple of ladies from the media present, were brave enough to have their X-ray taken as well, and a business man. I am glad to tell you that all the X-ray have been read by our doctor and they are all without suspicion.

“Around 7 o’clock in the evening, also part of the World TB Day, the Romanian landmark building Ateneul Roman was illuminated in red.

“In the days that followed, the Mobile Medical Unit stayed as I mentioned before in front of Ateneul Roman every day from 11am to 5pm in the afternoon, performing over 120 X-rays.

“People have gathered at the MXU since the early hours, forming small queues for a quick and free radiological control, thus avoiding crowding and bureaucracy from hospitals. Please see the links to facebook movies and recordings of how people were lining to have their X-ray taken.

“And with the help from the volunteers from the Association of Medicine Students and MDR TB Patient Association we were able to present and explain the benefits of TB screening and early detection to all those who went there.

“I am very happy about what we managed to do and the next ‘brick’ that we placed at the foundation of raising awareness in the fight against TB.”

Photograph below: Ana-Maria (standing on the right) with Dr. Ioana Munteanu, National Coordinator of the Romanian TB Programme

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