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24 Marcha 2018, 12:38 | Martinez Canez
Doctors, chemists to face jail term if they don't notify TB patient
On March 24, individuals around the world recognized World TB Day.
The director general has explained that the Ministry of Health has targeted 360 thousand TB case findings at non-government health facilities to improve recording of cases.
If President Cyril Ramaphosa, and the current administration more broadly, are serious about fighting TB they can start with an aggressive campaign to uproot corruption in the public health care system. Fortunately, a large majority of the infected people have latent infection, which means they are not yet ill with the disease and can not transmit the disease.
53 million lives were saved between the year 2000 and 2016, due to diagnoses and treatment. Although several EU/EEA countries are progressing towards sustained low levels of TB incidence and some towards the pre-elimination phase (defined as less than 10 cases per million population), great diversity in TB disease burden remains within the sub-region.
To date, the adolescent and young adult age group has been largely ignored in tuberculosis control efforts, which in many countries are nearly entirely focused on treatment rather than prevention. Following the successful WHO Ministerial Conference in Moscow and the upcoming United Nations high-level meeting in September 2018, world leaders seem more committed than ever to tackle the TB epidemic.
The notification rate of TB is now around 60 cases per 100 000 people in the population, representing a sharp 90 per cent reduction as compared with the figures in the 1950s and 1960s. Over the period of years, it is observed that not all tuberculosis cases are new patients.
According to Pruitt, people with TB disease are sick from TB germs that are active, meaning that they are multiplying and destroying tissue in their body.
The initiatives of the National Tuberculosis Program and the Ministry of Health are being carried out with support from a Global Fund for 2016-2018 which aids in strengthening the National Tuberculosis Program's response to the TB epidemic in Belize. A new randomised trial called SHINE is looking to shorten standard treatment for children with drug-susceptible TB from 6 to 4 months. It's not possible to suspend treatment of TB during pregnancy, but at the same time, TB patients can't afford to get pregnant while undergoing treatment. This can be through TB skin testing and x-ray examination and scanning for both children and adults.
We hope that this World TB Day brings opportunities for the global community to do better in supporting adolescents with TB in a return to full health. They may even face a jail term as per IPC sections.
As for the diagnosis, there are really two main approaches.
But let us not forget that this is first, and above all, a political issue. We already have a National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs but, unfortunately, that plan simply doesn't cut it. We will keep using our medical experience and commitment to fight for TB patients.
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