Drug-resistant TB to affect two-million by 2015

By 2015 more than two-million people will contract a form of tuberculosis (TB) resistant to standard drugs and the fight against it must be stepped up, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

In a report launched on World TB Day, the United Nations health body along with a global fund that directs money to the disease, called on world leaders to pay more towards a goal of diagnosing and treating a million people with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) between 2011 and 2015.

“Commitments by some countries are too slow off the mark or simply stalled,” said Rifat Atun, director of strategy, performance and evaluation at the Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and Malaria, which directs government and private contributions to the three diseases.

If governments fail to commit more funds “the efforts of the last 10 years will be completely undermined”, he said.

Tuberculosis spreads through the air. If it is not effectively treated, each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year.

More needs to be done
A separate report by the WHO’s European office and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) last week found that TB kills an estimated 1,7-million people each year and the worldwide number of new cases — around 9,4-million — is higher than at any other time in history.

MDR-TB is a form of TB that does not respond to the standard treatments using first-line drugs, and leaving it untreated increases the risk of spread of drug resistant strains of TB. The WHO said it estimates there will be more than two-million new cases of MDR-TB between 2011 and 2015.

According to latest data from the WHO, there were an estimated 440 000 new MDR-TB cases in 2008, with three countries — China, India and Russia — accounting for more than 50% of all cases globally. Around 150 000 people died from MDR-TB in that year.

Since 2009, the 23 countries most heavily affected by TB drug resistance have nearly doubled their budgets for MDR-TB, but more needs to be done, the report said. — Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


‘Tenderpreneurs’ block the delivery of protective equipment to schools

Protests by local suppliers have delayed PPE delivery, which according to the DBE, is one of the reasons the reopening of schools has been pushed back until June 8

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday