WHO New Recommendations To Prevent Tuberculosis: According to WHO, 4 thousand people lose their lives due to TB every day
New guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) will help countries around the world accelerate efforts to prevent Tuberculosis by giving preventive treatment to people suffering from TB disease infection and protecting them from getting sick. A quarter of the world’s population is estimated to be infected with TB bacteria. These people are neither sick nor contagious. However, they are at greater risk of developing TB disease, especially those with weak immunity. By giving these people TB preventive treatment, they can not only prevent them from getting sick but also reduce the risk of spreading to people. On the occasion of World tuberculosis day 2020, it is important to know that this disease remains at the top of the worldwide deaths due to infection. In 2018, around 10 million people worldwide became ill with TB and 1.5 million lost their lives with the disease. According to the WHO, 4 thousand people lose their lives every day due to TB and 30,000 people are vulnerable.
Coronavirus show how weak people are
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adnom Ghebreyesus says that Coronavirus has revealed one thing about how vulnerable people with lung diseases and weak immune systems can be. The world is committed to eradicating tuberculosis by 2030, for which improving prevention is extremely important. Millions of people need to be able to take preventive treatment to prevent the onset of tuberculosis disease and save their lives from it.
Tuberculosis largely ignored
Dr. Tedros has emphasized the importance of continuing efforts to combat long-term health problems during health outbreaks such as COVID-19, including TB spread around the world. Not only this, the programs already in place to combat TB and other major infectious diseases are also working to make COVID-19 efforts more effective and faster. While these efforts have made some progress towards the goals set in the United Nations high-level meeting on the issue of TB in 2018, TB preventive treatment has been largely ignored.
He said that the Global Health Organization is committed to ensuring access to preventive treatment to at least 2.40 active TB cases and 6 million HIV-affected patients by 2022. He said that to date only a part of this target has been achieved, which includes 430,000 cases around the world. Not only this, but only 18 people were also able to get TB preventive treatment in 2018.
The biggest cause of TB death
According to the WHO, TB remains the leading cause of death among people living with HIV. TB preventative treatment works synergistically with antiretroviral therapy to prevent TB and save lives. Efforts by governments, health services, partnerships, partners, and civil society will be necessary to increase the reach of TB preventive treatment to targeted levels.
The new WHO guidelines suggest several new approaches to increase access to TB preventive treatment:
The WHO recommends large-scale TB preventive treatment in domestic contacts of TB patients, people living with HIV, others with weakened immunity, and in more risky populations living in crowded places.
The WHO recommends the integration of TB preventive treatment services into ongoing efforts for active TB. It is advisable to check for active TB in all household contacts of TB patients and people living with HIV. If active TB can be eradicated, then their TB preventive treatment should be started.
The WHO also recommends that either tuberculin skin testing or interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA) be used for screening for TB infection. Both investigations rays are benefiting people from TB preventive treatment, but there should not be any hindrance in expanding the scope of treatment. Testing for TB infection is not required before starting TB preventive treatment in people with HIV and children under 5 years of age such as those exposed to active TB.
The WHO recommends new small options for preventive treatment in addition to the use of isoniazid daily for 6 months.
All governments need to work together
On the occasion, Dr. Tereza Kaseva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Program said, “People from all over the world come together to celebrate World TB Day. The WHO is calling on all governments, affected communities, civil society organizations, health care providers, partners and industry to unite and specifically enhance the TB response through TB preventive treatment. The aim of the organization is that no one should be left behind in preventing TB. ”
He said the WHO’s new guidelines show safer options for millions of people to rapidly access new equipment and preventive treatment. “Now it’s time for everyone to work together. ”
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