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Uzbeck health officials visit WMU for tips on controlling TB

June 18, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Ten public health professionals from Uzbekistan will visit Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services Monday, June 23, to tour facilities and get some advice on how to control the spread of tuberculosis.

TB is a problem in Uzbekistan because of the high rate of treatment failures attributed to poor community awareness and poor communication between patients and treatment providers. Misconceptions concerning how the disease is spread and effectiveness of treatment are common throughout the country.

The health officials will meet with Dr. Amy B. Curtis, associate professor of interdisciplinary health sciences. From 1997-99, Curtis served as an epidemic intelligence officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where her work focused on investigating tuberculosis outbreaks and evaluation and surveillance of health-care related diseases.

In addition to meeting with Curtis, the health professionals will tour the WMU Bronson School of Nursing with nursing professor Dr. Mary Lagerwey.

Their visit to WMU is part of a Colleagues International program that also includes meetings with doctors and nurses from Borgess and Bronson hospitals, other area nursing school faculty and public health officials in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Kent and Van Buren counties.

They will learn new methods for infectious disease treatment and how to maintain Web sites aimed at providing current resources and information. They also hope to find encouraging mentors in their Kalamazoo counterparts who will continue to provide support.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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