On World Tuberculosis Day, WHO says that although 66 million lives have been saved since 2000, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed those gains. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths saw an uptick in 2020. In addition to this, the conflict zones in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have further made the situation worst for vulnerable populations.
Situation is grim but there is hope
The situation is even worse for children and adolescents with TB. In 2020, an estimated 63 % of children and young adolescents below 15 years with TB could not get adequate treatment to fight tuberculosis.
TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, over 4 100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30 000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Ending TB requires concerted action by all sectors.
On World Tuberculosis Day, WHO calls on everyone- individuals, communities, societies, donors and governments to do their part to end TB.
How it can be prevented?
Tuberculosis is a life threatening disease but it can be prevented if adequate measures are taken on time. There is an urgent need to remove taboos associated with this disease. Here are some simple steps that go a long way towards fighting tuberculosis –
A. Ensure timely vaccination with BCG
B. Ensure adequate air circulation in indoor spaces
C. Focus on treating latent infection before it becomes active in selected cases
D. Work towards maintaining good nutrition
E. It helps to wear mask when out and about.
Visit a physician if one has symptoms such as unexplained cough for more than 3 weeks, chest pain, fatigue, coughing up blood, sweating at night, fever, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
India at a greater risk
Tuberculosis, commonly abbreviated to TB, is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. As per World Health Organization (WHO), TB is one of the top 10 causes of deaths across the globe. Based on its latest report announced in 2019, 10 million people across the world were infected by TB, out of which 26.90 lakh people had TB in India.
The report further stated that India had maximum number of Drug Resistant TB which is 27 percent of the total 1.30 lakh Drug-Resistant cases!
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor for expert opinion.