News / Health

Multi-Drug Resistance Puts TB Control at Risk

File - A pin reading "Stop TB" is shown after presentation of WHO report Global Tuberculosis Control at the United Nations headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
File - A pin reading "Stop TB" is shown after presentation of WHO report Global Tuberculosis Control at the United Nations headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— The World Health Organization says millions fewer people are dying and falling ill from tuberculosis due to successful diagnostic and treatment programs.

Published Wednesday, the U.N. group's "Global Tuberculosis Report 2013" warns that many of these gains risk being lost if multi-drug resistant TB is not brought under control.
 
While 8.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis in 2012, of whom 1.3 million died — including 320,000 deaths who were HIV-positive — WHO considers these numbers to be too high, but notes they indicate steady progress in the fight to control TB.
 
According to the report, the number of people dying from this infectious, airborne disease has been reduced by 45 percent since 1990, and treatments have saved more than 22 million people since 1995, putting the world on track to meet the U.N. Millennium Development Goal of cutting TB deaths by half in 2015.
 
Despite the good news, however, WHO warns that the world stands to lose all gains made in TB control if it does not address the growing problem of multi-drug resistant TB, or MDR-TB.
 
Dr. Karin Weyer, coordinator of laboratories, diagnostics and drug resistance in WHO's Global TB Program, says a second challenge is to find roughly three million people with TB who were “missed” by health systems, either because they were not diagnosed or their cases went unreported.
 
“Since MDR-TB is an airborne disease, if we fail to detect and treat these cases, it has, of course, serious consequences for patients, but also for societies and communities," she says, explaining that three-quarters of the estimated 450,000 MDR-TB cases are going undiagnosed annually. "What we have seen in 2012 has been a very worrying trend. We have seen some increases in diagnosis of MDR cases…but, what we have also seen is that cases are increasingly not being put on treatment.”
 
WHO says China, India and the Russian Federation have the highest burden of MDR-TB, followed by 24 other countries. Many patients are discouraged from following the 24-month course of treatment because it is very lengthy, costly and has a number of bad side effects.
 
The report finds 22 high TB burden countries account for about 80 percent of the world’s TB cases. It also says seven of these countries have met all 2015 MDG targets for reducing the incidence, prevalence and mortality in TB, while four others are on track to do so by 2015.
 
Weyer says Africa is one of the regions not on track to meet the 2015 MDG targets.
 
“I think if Africa can manage to get the TB problem under control and prevent drug-resistant TB, we can prevent a situation similar to that in Eastern Europe," she says. "It is partly for that reason that we are really pushing the African countries to make sure that they prevent MDR-TB, because if they are faced with an MDR epidemic that coincides with an HIV epidemic, it really will be a disaster.”
 
The World Health Organization says it is at a crucial point in its global TB control program. It is urging the international community to provide $2 billion to close the funding gap needed to fight this disease and prevent a reversal of all the gains made in the fight against TB.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Annabel Kanabus from: London
October 24, 2013 11:33 AM
How can WHO be so sure that 3 million people are being missed, if these are people who are not in contact with health services. And how much faith is it therefore possible to have in those figures which are collected by WHO? See www.tbfacts.org

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid