"On the Move against Tuberculosis, Innovate to
Accelerate Action" -
the theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2010.
the worldwide plan to Stop TB with better efforts and innovative ways in order to achieve the 2006-2015 targets. Though considerable achievements have been made, evidence shows that we need to speed up our efforts to achieve better results. The theme of Innovation calls for a different way of thinking, as well as to imbibe and inculcate the experiences of successful TB campaigns around the world.
Objectives of World
Tuberculosis Day 2010
The World Health
Organization (WHO) Stop TB
unit along with WHO regional and country offices
has formulated standards, strategies and policies aimed at control of TB. The Stop
is an organization with a well coordinated network of more
than 1000 stakeholders. The stop TB partnership believes that 'Intensified
case-finding, Isoniazid prevention therapy, and Infection control
be implemented critically to save lives, especially to cut the burden of TB in
victims of HIV.
In a nutshell, the
unit makes an evaluation of the progress made towards TB control, develops
policies, gauges the performance of national programs, promotes research, looks
into the financial requirements of the projects and helps in building
partnerships worldwide with a motive to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis
• Close to 2 billion people are infected with TB
bacilli and one out of 10 who carry the TB bacilli will go on to suffer Active
TB during their lifetime.
• India, China, the Russian Federation, South
Africa and Bangladesh are the five countries with the highest number of TB
• TB is a leading killer of people with HIV.
• TB is infectious, spreads through the air and
appears to affect the young, laying siege on their productive years.
• The developing world bears the brunt of most of
the TB cases.
• 50% of all TB related deaths happen in Asia.
• Treatment for victims of Active TB is crucial as
a single victim can infect 10-15 people each year, in the absence of treatment.
Tuberculosis, or TB,
is a contagious bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
which most often affects the lungs. This is called Pulmonary Tuberculosis
The disease can also affect the other parts of the body for instance - central
nervous system, genitourinary system, circulatory system, lymphatic system,
gastrointestinal system, joints, bones and even the skin. This is called Extrapulmonary
Tuberculosis can be
Active or Latent.
indicates that the bacteria are multiplying in the body and symptoms will soon
show up. If the TB is located in the lungs also called Pulmonary TB, it can
spread easily to others. Symptoms of Active TB
include persistent and
prolonged coughing which could be accompanied by sputum or blood. Weight loss,
fatigue, fever, chest pains and night sweats are some of the symptoms
associated with TB.
indicates that the TB bacteria are dormant in the body. Since the immune system
is healthy it is able to restrain the bacteria from turning into an active one.
There are no symptoms of TB at this stage and therefore the disease cannot
spread to others. Yet, if TB is latent, it can turn into active at any time
especially when the immunity drops.
Pulmonary TB (in the
lungs) is highly infectious and spreads via droplets from the throat and lungs
of those already infected with the disease. Transmission of the disease happens
when an infected person coughs or breathes out air containing the TB bacteria.
cannot spread so easily.
Latent TB is usually diagnosed with the help of a Tuberculin
where TB antigens are injected under the skin. The presence of the TB bacteria in the body will cause a red bump to appear on the skin exactly where the needle pierced the skin. The test can also report the onset of infection as well as its potency, indicating if it can be transmitted to others.
To diagnose Pulmonary TB
, doctors check for the presence of
TB bacteria from the sputum (mucus from the lungs). A chest X-ray is also taken to detect pulmonary TB.
To detect Extrapulmonary TB
, doctors examine a sample of
tissue (biopsy). Doctors may also ask for a CT scan report or an MRI which will enable pictures of the body to help them in the diagnosis.
is treated with a combination of four antibiotics to be taken at the same time, called as Multiple-drug Therapy for a period of 6 months at least. The four antibiotics are Isoniazid (IHN, Nydrazid, Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol (Myambutol).
Victims of latent TB, need to take just one antibiotic for a period of nine months, which cuts the risk of latent TB turning active.
Antibiotics such as Rifapentine (Priftin), Streptomycin (STM) Ethionamide (Trecator-SC), Cycloserine Seromycin), Capreomycin (Capastat Sulfate), Levofloxacin (Levaquin, Quixin), Moxifloxacin (Avelox, Vigamox),
are also used incase the patient does not respond to treatment or is infected with drug-resistant TB bacteria.
It is imperative that the prescribed medicines be taken
strictly for the stipulated period for a successful treatment. If patients stop
taking the medication prematurely, the condition may worsen and lead to a more
virulent form - drug resistant TB which poses a big challenge for treatment.
-Key Challenge to Tuberculosis Control
tuberculosis medication abruptly, a trend witnessed in developing countries,
poses one of the greatest hurdles in the campaign against Tuberculosis. Multidrug-resistant
TB (MDR-TB) is a type of TB that is complex and costly to treat due to its lack
of response to standard first-line drugs. It is usually triggered when the
patient discontinues treatment prematurely or by the natural mutation of
or extensively drug resistant TB is far more grave than MDR-TB, and poses one of the greatest hurdles to people suffering HIV/AIDS.
The success of the Global Plan to Stop TB
2006-2015 hinges on the cooperation of family members of victims, healthcare
providers, and patients themselves to ensure that treatment is continued
diligently for the stipulated period. If the objectives of the Stop TB
2006-2015 are met, it can save the lives of 14 million people and enable
treatment to 50 million people. We need to support the efforts of this
worldwide network by putting our hands together to obliterate the scourge that
still exists like a ticking time bomb amongst us.