World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


An urgent call to action on World TB

Reaching the undiagnosed: An urgent call to action on World TB Day

Far too many cases are being missed and multidrug-resistant TB is on the rise

MANILA, 22 March 2014 – On World TB Day (24 March), the World Health Organization in the Western Pacific Region reiterates the need for governments, policy-makers, health care providers and civil society organizations to prioritize interventions to urgently find, treat and cure the millions of people who remain undiagnosed with the disease.

Globally, of the estimated 9 million people a year who develop tuberculosis (TB), some 30 percent—3 million—are “missed” meaning they are not found, treated and reported to national health authorities. In the Western Pacific Region, an estimated 1 in 5 TB cases are missed.

Cambodia, China, the Philippines and Viet Nam, account for 93% of the estimated regional TB burden of 1.6 million cases and 110 000 deaths each year. These four countries are among the 22 high-burden countries worldwide.

“We must ensure that we can identify every single case of TB, as many individuals with TB remain undiagnosed and untreated,” advised Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. “Universal access to TB treatment and care must include not only standardized effective treatment, but also adequately trained health care providers who will help in successfully finding, treating and curing every patient.”
“A significant challenge in the Region is that there are too many people with TB who remain undiagnosed in the community,” noted Dr Nobuyuki Nishikiori, Team Leader, Stop TB and Leprosy Elimination, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific. “The majority of these cases are people who live in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, or are among marginalized populations such as migrants, prisoners, and ethnic minorities. Ensuring TB services for children and the elderly is also a challenge due to difficulties in diagnosis and treatment.”
Apart from the high number of missed TB cases, another challenge in the Region is the threat of drug-resistant TB, with an estimated 75 000 multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients added annually and increasing numbers of patients with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB. WHO analysis shows that the majority of MDR-TB is in newly diagnosed TB patients, meaning people are being infected by resistant strains. This is in addition to patients developing resistance only during their treatment.

“Although TB treatment itself is free from government health services, on average half of all patients experience a catastrophic financial burden,” Dr Nishikiori said. “There are significant medical expenses besides the drugs. Many patients must travel long distances to access clinics and medication, so their transportation costs are high. Then there’s lost income when they can’t work for long periods of time. And sadly, many TB patients still experience significant stigma as they often lose their social support and employment, often rejected by family and shamed for their condition.”

To meet these challenges, WHO through extensive consultation with Member States and international partners, has developed a new global strategy that was recommended for consideration and adoption by the sixty-seventh World Health Assembly which meets this coming May. The vision for this TB strategy is “a world free of TB”, also expressed as “zero deaths, disease and suffering due to TB”.

"TB control today is in a dynamic stage of transformation, with new diagnostics, drugs and even vaccines in the pipeline," concluded Dr Shin, “building on the huge successes we have made, and with these new tools and global strategy, I'm confident we can overcome these challenges and provide a safer world for our children, increase social equity and eliminate this disease, which continues to cause far too much suffering for far too many people in the Region and around the world.”

Key facts

• Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.
• In 2012, 8.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.3 million died from TB.
• Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top three causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.
• In 2012, an estimated 530 000 children became ill with TB and 74 000 HIV-negative children died of TB.
• TB is a leading killer of people living with HIV causing one fifth of all deaths.
• Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is present in virtually all countries surveyed.
• The estimated number of people falling ill with tuberculosis each year is declining, although very slowly, which means that the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the spread of TB by 2015.
• The TB death rate dropped by 45% between 1990 and 2012.
• An estimated 22 million lives were saved through use of DOTS and the Stop TB Strategy recommended by WHO.

Related links:

World TB Day 2014
http://www.who.int/campaigns/tb-day/2014/event/en/

WHO’s work on TB
http://www.who.int/tb/en/

Fact sheet: Tuberculosis
http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/

Regional Strategy to Stop Tuberculosis in the Western Pacific 2011–2015
http://www.wpro.who.int/tb/documents/policy/2010/regional_strategy/en/

Stop TB Partnership
http://www.stoptb.org/

WHO: China world leader in tuberculosis control
http://www.wpro.who.int/china/mediacentre/releases/2014/20140321/en/

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestinians Continue The Struggle Against The Adei Ad

Hundreds of Palestinian children, women, and men gathered at Turmusaya on Friday December 17th to complete the tree planting began by Palestinian Authority minister Ziad Abu Ein, who was killed by Israeli soldiers on Friday December 10th. More>>

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>



    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>


    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news