Global Community Must Step Up Efforts To Diagnose, Treat, Prevent TB, WHO DG Tedros Writes In Opinion Piece

The Guardian: Why is the world losing the fight against history’s most lethal disease?
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO

“…Why, despite all the progress in medicine and public health over the past 150 years, is TB still the most common and lethal of all infectious diseases? … We need much better detection. And better methods for diagnosing younger children who may have to suffer their stomach contents being collected to mine swallowed sputum. … Drug-resistant tuberculosis is one of our most urgent and difficult challenges. … We urgently need to develop new, better, and cheaper drugs. More than 20 are currently in clinical trials. … TB is a disease of the vulnerable, which may be why so little has been done to modernize the fight against it. It spreads most easily in conditions of poverty, with people crowded together in poorly ventilated places. It is symptomatic of a failure to ensure everyone has access to healthcare and is free from poverty and poor hygiene. … It is time to step up the effort. That requires better-targeted investment and greater attention to the conditions that breed TB. We need treatment strategies that support and empower patients to manage their own disease. … We need a holistic approach to address the social, physical, and clinical drivers. Strong healthcare is particularly important, as is protecting people from catastrophic health costs that destroy livelihoods, force patients off treatment, and accelerate drug resistance…” (11/14).

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