Lords celebrate unsung TB heroes

From left: Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, with Redbridge Health Partnerships Manager Swati Vyas and ‘Health Buddie’  Bibi Sabina JaulimLast week, TB Alert’s partner Redbridge Council for Voluntary Service was acknowledged for its excellent work around TB. The Council attended the ‘Celebrating Excellence in Health and Wellbeing’ event at the House of Lords, during which 28 community projects were celebrated for their excellence, out of 70 nominations made to the Department of Health.

“We were very proud to receive such public recognition of our TB work,” said Redbridge Health Partnerships Manager Swati Vyas, who attended the event with ‘Health Buddy’  Bibi Sabina Jaulim.

Redbridge runs a local TB partnership with TB Alert, raising awareness among the local community. A key factor in the success of this project is the trained team of 11 Health Buddies, who speak a range of community languages like Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, French and Arabic. They conduct TB awareness sessions in groups as well as one-to-one at various venues including community groups, libraries, care homes, faith places and colleges.

So far, the Health Buddies have reached out to over 1500 local residents through 65 one-to-one and group sessions. In addition many more people have received messages on TB signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment through mediums like newsletters for the voluntary groups, local newspapers, community radio etc.

The event was opened with speeches by Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive Public Health England Duncan Selbie, and Public Health Minister Jane Ellison, who talked TB with the Redbridge team after the ceremony.

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