Every 21 seconds someone dies from Tuberculosis (TB), which has now overtaken HIV as the leading killer from infectious diseases in the world.
Globally, nine million people will become affected by TB every year, however, not everyone will have access to the right treatment and care to effectively address it. This can lead to the spread of the disease, the development of multidrug- resistant TB and in some cases death. In 2014 alone, more than 480,000 cases of multidrug-resistant forms of TB were recorded, where people were resistant to two of the strongest TB drugs- isoniazid and rifampicin.
Looking at other major infectious diseases for example HIV, where there is now believed to be a decline in new HIV infections – can we learn lesson from HIV and other infectious diseases that could impact TB?
Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS & Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations spoke with Union TV about the three major areas which have greatly supported the efforts in preventions and treatment of HIV. Watch his interview below as he discusses how the TB community can create further awareness and support through social mobilisation, influencing political decision and science.
There is already great scientific research taking place around the world for TB with new clinical trials in drug development and vaccines. One program which is having an impact is the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative where there is a high TB case rate.
As part of Union TV, WebsEdge/Health spoke with Aeras, one of the partners in the initiative about community engagement and how it has led to better education, early diagnosis and treatment with extended benefits to the families of those affected by TB and the wider community.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) End TB Strategy has set some ambitious yet achievable targets for 2030. To reach this goal, more effective low cost prevention and treatment options are required to be more accessible to those in need. Social mobilization will be key to creating further awareness and momentum to demonstrate to governments and other stakeholders the importance and wider implications of TB as a threat to overall public health.
The two films featured above were produced by WebsEdge/Health as part of Union TV for the Union World Congress for Lung Health. To learn more about some of the current lung health research happening around the world, please visit Union TV here.
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