WHO calls for urgent action against tuberculosisApril 1st, 2009 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, April 1 (Xinhua) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged the countries where tuberculosis (TB) is prevalent to take urgent action to curb the spread of the disease.
Addressing a meeting here Wednesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the world faced a “precarious situation” due to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant TB.
“The situation is already alarming, and it is poised to grow much worse, very quickly,” she told health ministers and officials from more than 30 countries, who gathered at the ministerial meeting organised here by WHO.
Although the disease is preventable and treatable, TB bacillus becomes resistant to the two most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs, when the disease develops into multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
The more serious XDR-TB, a sub-strain of MDR-TB that develops from the highly drug-resistant strains, has been reported in more than 50 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and Europe, according to the WHO.
The organisation estimated that more than 500,000 new cases of MDR-TB occurred during 2007.
“If MDR-TB is not vigorously addressed, it stands to replace the mainly drug-susceptible strains currently responsible for 95 percent of the world’s TB cases,” she said.
About 1.7 million people die from TB annually, according to the WHO, which blamed improper use of drugs for causing multi-drug resistance.
Chan urged that high priority be given to the epidemic “because national TB programmes cannot, by themselves, manage these new threats”.
She said the cost of treating MDR-TB can be as much as 200 times higher than normal TB.
As a result of the global economic downturn, “we need to look very carefully at areas of public health”, she added.
- 'Time to scale up work on TB control' - Jan 24, 2012
- Central team to probe drug resistant TB cases in Mumbai - Jan 17, 2012
- TB causing half million annual deaths in South-East Asia: WHO - Mar 22, 2012
- WHO calls for dealing with multi-drug resistant microbes - Apr 07, 2011
- Berlin 2010: TB, HIV and Lung Health: From research and innovation to solutions - Nov 02, 2010
- Aggressive drug treatment may cure drug-resistant TB - Aug 07, 2008
- Involving TB patients in TB programmes will help - Mar 23, 2009
- Awareness programmes mark World Tuberculosis Day in Delhi - Mar 24, 2011
- 36 mln people with TB cured, eight mln lives saved since 1995 - Dec 09, 2009
- Gonorrhea cure gets tough as bug grows drug resistant - Nov 08, 2011
- India, China account for 45 percent multi-drug resistant TB - Aug 27, 2010
- India to treat multi-drug resistant tuberculosis nation-wide by 2010 - Sep 21, 2008
- Extensively drug-resistant TB deadlier than previously thought - Nov 06, 2008
- New test top diagnoseTB proves effective, convenient - Sep 02, 2010
- Drug resistent TB deadlier, more common than suspected - Nov 06, 2008
Tags: director general, drug resistance, drug resistant tb, economic downturn, emergence, epidemic, health ministers, high priority, margaret chan, precarious situation, resistant strains, susceptible strains, tb bacillus, tb cases, tb drugs, tuberculosis, tuberculosis tb, urgent action, world health organisation, xinhua