There is a lot of attention on TB these days. Earlier, we posted the link to an article on TB: how many young children are wrongly diagnosed as disease-free?
Another article, featured on the dna india website talks about the WHO’s 2013 report which shows the government’s failure in tackling the disease. The main points of the article are given below:
The World Health Organization’s 2013 global tuberculosis report paints a grim picture for India. As it says that “once a pioneer in TB treatment among developing nations, the government’s resolution to fight the disease has developed cracks over the years. According to the report, the country has 2-2.5 million TB cases — a conservative figure, given that worldwide three million cases go undetected each year. The other depressing fact is that 33 per cent of the total population suffering from TB worldwide does not have access to treatment.”
The article is mostly a well written one and talks about poverty, lack of nutrition and unhygienic living conditions as the three main reasons for the wide spread of this highly infectious airborne disease. The country’s health-care system doesn’t help and is incapable of tackling the disease. A vast section of the population living in villages and urban slums does not have access to doctors and medicines.
The fight against TB is getting progressively tougher as, according to the WHO, around 450,000 people are victims of multi-drug resistant (MDR) type of TB with China, India and Russia together accounting for most cases. Now, it has urged countries to make MDR TB part of the national programme as it requires urgent attention.
However, the article points out that “other reason[s] for a thriving MDR is that most pharma companies do not want to invest resources to research and design new drugs to combat this menace. TB is essentially a poor man’s disease, hence, there is little scope for profit for these corporates.” We cannot comment on this fact.
The WHO has stated that “the political will evident in nationwide polio programmes is sadly missing in the case of TB. That makes the struggle even more acute.”
To read the entire article, please click here.