World TB Day 2022: Need For Investing Resources To Fight Tuberculosis

Posted On Mar 11, 2022

Dr. Elakya

Consultant - Pulmonology

Manipal Hospitals-Salem

Pulmonology Hospital in Salem

Introduction

In 2020, an estimated 1.5 million people died due to TB, among which 2.14 lakh people also have HIV. Globally, 9.9 million worldwide fell ill with TB, of which only 5.8 million people have access to TB care. 7.1 million people accessed TB care in 2019. In 2020, the world witnessed the most significant number of deaths due to TB within the last decade. Over 4100 people die due to TB daily. It ranks 13th on the list of causes of death worldwide. Also, as indicated by the WHO modelling projections, the number of people developing tuberculosis and dying due to disease could be higher in 2022. 

Because of the lack of resources and the need for reversing the impact of COVID-19 in TB care, the theme of World TB Day, 2022, is "Invest to End TB. Save Lives." Although determination, energy, emotions, and hard work are essential, the objective of optimal TB care could not be achieved through financial resources alone.

Tuberculosis

TB is a disease affecting the lungs. It is caused by bacteria, mycobacterium tuberculosis, that have the potential to spread from one person to another through air droplets that are dispersed into the air through sneezing or cough. The prevalence of TB increased due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes weakens the immune system and these patients are more prone to develop active TB disease. The treatment for TB comprises multiple medications administered for several months. 

Symptoms Of Tuberculosis

Patients with TB may experience the following symptoms:

  • Persistent cough for three or more weeks

  • Blood or mucus during coughing

  • Pain in the chest

  • Pain during coughing or breathing

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Fever and fatigue

  • Chills and night sweats

  • Loss of appetite

Causes Of Tuberculosis

TB is caused due to mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. When a patient with active and untreated infection coughs, sneezes, laughs or speaks, it spreads from one person to another in the form of air droplets. However, people with active TB who take medicines appropriately for at least two weeks do not have the potential to spread the disease. In addition, patients who have HIV are at 18 times increased risk for developing TB.

Tuberculosis Prevention

TB is a preventable and curable disease. Several measures help in the spreading of TB. Follow the below measures if you have active TB (only active TB spreads):

  • Avoid going out of the house during the first two weeks of treatment.

  • Avoid sleeping with another person in the room.

  • The germs for TB spread faster in a closed space. So keep your room ventilated. Open the window and switch the fan to move the air from inside to outside.

  • Put tissue paper on your face every time you laugh, sneeze or cough. Then, discard the tissue paper appropriately. 

  • To reduce the risk of transmission, always wear a mask while speaking to people. 

Diagnosis Of Tuberculosis

There are several methods to diagnose TB. These are:

  • Sputum tests: The doctor obtains the sputum sample and sends it to the laboratory to check for TB germs.

  • Sputum sample for AFB Smear

  • Advanced techniques like CBNAAT

  • Imaging tests: X-ray and CT scan of the chest may also be recommended to check for a lung infection.

Management Of Tuberculosis

The patient needs to take a combination of antibiotics for around six months. The antibiotics for TB are rifampin, isoniazid, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide. In the case of drug-resistant TB, a combination of fluoroquinolone and other antibiotics are recommended for longer periods. It is essential to take the complete course of antibiotics to prevent drug resistance.

If you are looking for a TB hospital in Salem for the management of tuberculosis then visit Manipal Hospital. They have the best pulmonologists in Salem highly experienced in treating and managing tuberculosis.

Urgent Need For Resources In Fighting Against Tuberculosis

The COVID-19 pandemic reversed the progress achieved against TB during the last decade. Significant resources were directed to fight against the pandemic resulting in a setback for several TB programs worldwide. There is an urgent need for investing resources due to the following reasons:

  • Ensuring access to the best TB services, including diagnosis, prevention and management of TB.

  • Strengthening the healthcare system and preventing deaths due to TB.

  • Ensure that majority, if not all, of the patients suffering from drug-resistant TB, should receive the WHO-recommended treatment.

  • Resources should be directed to stop the discrimination and stigma associated with patients with TB.

  • Diagnosing the disease at an earlier stage.

  • Investments are required to ensure availability of the effective medications, vaccines or other management tools.

  • To overcome the barriers and challenges that the children and adolescents face while having WHO-recommended diagnosis and management of TB.

  • To develop a collaborative approach and enhance awareness about HIV, tobacco and diabetes and their association with TB.

  • To take robust action against malnutrition and poverty as they are also related to TB.

 

Dr. Elakya

Consultant - Pulmonology

Manipal Hospital, Salem

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