Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues

Opinion Pieces Discuss Improving TB Prevention, Diagnostic, Treatment Tools

Global Health NOW: How Surgery Could Help End Tuberculosis
Sebastian Shu, physician from Cayetano Heredia University in Peru and research associate at the Program on Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School

“Surgery might not immediately come to mind as a solution in the fight to end tuberculosis. … However, surgery could help decrease the burden — and it’s time to listen to the voices of surgeons and anesthesiologists who could make valuable contributions to the current push to end TB. … The difficulty in treating tuberculosis lies in the various mechanisms the mycobacterium has developed to survive at the expense of its host. … In [some] cases, pulmonary resection — a surgical procedure removing a section of a lung or the entire lung is removed — can be used as an adjunct therapy for TB. … Surgical management has proved beneficial in other scenarios, as well. … It is true that surgery is not applicable for every patient nor it is possible to provide surgery to everyone who needs it, especially in low- and middle-income countries. However, it is also true that it might be the only alternative for a group of patients who can no longer be helped by medical management” (3/25).

The Telegraph: New tools can end the ‘white plague’ that once stalked Europe
Baroness Suttie, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tuberculosis

“…[T]he increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance should shake us out of our current complacency [when it comes to responding to TB]. A new Lancet Commission report on TB shows a way forward. I support the commission’s call to increase investments in TB to $10 billion annually, encompassing research and development, quality diagnostics, and protecting the people most at risk of contracting TB … There are three next steps I would particularly like to highlight. First, it is time to improve diagnostics. … Next, the drug regimens for TB need to become shorter, less toxic, and easier to stick to. … Finally, we must double our efforts in the search for new and effective vaccines for TB. … What is required now is committed global leadership to provide the investment, time, and effort to eradicate this curable disease from our planet” (3/25).