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Cases of tuberculosis increasing. Why?

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Despite the existence of effective drugs, each year approximately eight million people get active TB. More than 1.5 million of those cases are in sub-Saharan Africa. This number is increasing dramatically.

Factors Contributing to the Rise of TB
  • HIV Accelerates the Spread of TB.  Tuberculosis and HIV have a deadly relationship — each drives the progress of the other.

  • Increasing resistance of the disease to commonly used antibiotics and delays in recognizing the appearance and transmission of deadly, drug-resistant TB strains that defy traditional treatments.

  • Premature cuts in TB funding and the subsequent deterioration of TB prevention and control programs impaired the ability of these programs to respond

  • Poor management of current TB programs
  • Costs of medical care for TB especially in the developing world both to the patient and healthcare facilities (i.e adequate number of isolation wards and specialised TB centers) . 
  • Disease risk is compounded as more and more people are forced to live in poverty. Untreated TB spreads rapidly in crowded camps, shelters and public transport.  

It has become increasingly clear that elimination will require better tests and treatments, plus an improved vaccine. But until world conditions of poverty and HIV spread are addressed, this treatable disease will continue to run rampant.

Read more about TB and preventive measures

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 Karl Daniel, M.D., is the founder and site Manager of Kardz Medicine, where this post also appears.  Dr. Karl is a graduate of People's Friendship University of Russia and a board certified Physician. Currently, he works as a primary care physician in Kenya.  He is active on Facebook and Google+, as well as Twitter @kardzmed.

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