China Must Strengthen Its Public Health System To Prevent Spread Of TB

The Japan Times: Tuberculosis showing a resurgence in China
Cesar Chelala, international public health consultant

“China now has the second-largest tuberculosis epidemic — second only to India — with more than 1.3 million new cases of tuberculosis every year. What makes the situation particularly serious, says the Chinese Center for Disease Control, is that China has the largest number of patients with Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). … Although tuberculosis control has been part of the country’s public health program since the 1950s, it is only since the SARS epidemic in 2003 was effectively controlled has the Chinese government increased its efforts to revitalize tuberculosis control programs. In that regard, increased political commitment to public health as a result of the SARS epidemic benefited tuberculosis control. … To lower the prevalence of tuberculosis, particularly in its resistant forms, requires further improvement of the public health system…” (3/30).