Posted Date: 23rd Oct 2012
Crossroads in world TB elimination
The World Health Organisation says that the world is now at a crossroads between the elimination of tuberculosis in our lifetime, or millions more TB deaths.
The stark choice was made at the launch of WHO’s 2012 report on Global Tuberculosis. An estimated 20 million people are alive today as a direct result of tuberculosis (TB) care and control, according to the Report.
“In the space of 17 years, 51 million people have been successfully treated and cared for according to WHO recommendations. Without that treatment, 20 million people would have died,” says Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Stop TBDepartment. “This milestone reflects the commitment of governments to transform the fight against TB.”
The achievements have been secured by leadership in endemic countries and international support, but today WHO warned that the global fight against the disease remains fragile.
In the UK meanwhile Black Africans made up 18% of reported cases of TB in 2011 with one of the highest rates of 100 per 100,000 in the black ethnic group. Africans and people of African descent make up just an estimated 2.8% of the population of England and Wales.
AHPN believe that the key to tackling the disproportionate rates of TB among Africans lies in raising awareness of the disease and working with communities to fight the stigma attached to it. Giving people the right information will help to improve diagnosis rates and increase community awareness of the symptoms of tuberculosis.