For too long, TB patients and care providers have been fighting a protracted battle with antiquated, inefficient tools, diagnostics, vaccines and drug regimens.
Never bring a knife to a gunfight. And yet, the global tuberculosis (TB) community has been doing precisely that for decades -- fighting a protracted battle with antiquated, inefficient tools, including an insensitive diagnostic (i.e. sputum microscopy), a low-efficacy vaccine (i.e. BCG), and drug regimens that have hardly changed for decades.
With today marking World TB Day, it is important to highlight that about 10.4 million people around the world are diagnosed with TB and 1.8 million die from the disease every year, according to the World Health Organization. While the majority of people with TB live in developing countries like India, Indonesia and Nigeria, the illness also affects people in Canada with more than 1,500 cases reported in 2014 alone.
Tuberculosis (TB), a formidable foe to global health for thousands of years, has joined forces with HIV, a relative new-kid on the block, and together the two have left a wake of destruction, destitution, and death in communities across the globe.
Over the next three years, the Global Fund is on track to save eight million lives because thirty-five some odd countries came together to do the right thing. It is a truly remarkable achievement. The countries that contributed should be commended.
Over the last decade, the HIV community has very effectively used the cascade of care analysis to identify and plug gaps so that more patients receive effective treatment. UNAIDS recently endorsed an ambitious "90-90-90" global target based on the cascade. The TB community has lagged behind.
Older women/grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa are rarely recognized or included in programs and policies addressing HIV/AIDS, health-care strengthening and development assistance. Yet they are at the centre of the pandemic.
Global leaders pledged over US$12.9 billion dollars which will help save 8 million lives and stop an additional 300 million new infections worldwide by 2019, as well as contribute to ending these deadly diseases as epidemics by 2030. This is truly a promising horizon.
Adolescents aren't children and they aren't adults, either. It is a time of deep emotional and physical upheavals. Relationships are often the centre of your changing world. So imagine if you can how it must feel to be an adolescent living with HIV.
It's World Tuberculosis Day, and this year it will be marked with the sad distinction that we have allowed this preventable, curable disease to become the world's biggest infectious killer. The millennia-old disease tuberculosis (TB) now outranks even HIV/AIDS in the number of lives it claims, at over 1.5 million a year. With leading experts predicting that by 2050 evolving strains of drug-resistant TB could claim an additional 75 million lives worldwide -- costing the global economy $16.7 trillion -- the need for immediate action is clear.