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WHO calls for big investment in tests for TB

by Gayatri on  October 26, 2006 at 4:27 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
WHO calls for big investment in tests for TB
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), shortage of adequate testing and diagnosis is the major reason for almost 9 million people getting affected by tuberculosis every year.
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The United Nations agency called for huge investments for developing diagnostics in the low and middle-income countries, where 75% of the screening for TB takes place and around 1.7 million lives are lost every year.

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'The world urgently needs new, safe and affordable diagnostics to simplify case detection, Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO's Stop TB Department, said in a statement. 'Most of the world's tuberculosis patients have access only to conventional microscopy which requires repeated testing, may miss half the cases, and which works especially poorly for HIV co-infected patients,' he added.

Sputum smear microscopy is the most commonly available test that detects only 2.2 million TB cases in a year.

The rest are diagnosed through what the WHO said separately is 'an often inefficient and sometimes wasteful combination of chest x-rays, bacterial cultures and guesswork.'

The annual costs for TB screening of around 100 million people is nearly $1 billion. $300 million more is spent on treatment with drugs.

Source: Medindia
GYT
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