Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Why better TB care in Africa is in European interests

27.03.2007
The recent outbreak of a lethal combination of HIV and TB in southern Africa has prompted Britain to pledge an extra US$ 3.15 million (£1.6 million) to the World Health Organization’s Stop TB partnership. The fact that all G8 countries admit the presence of TB strains that are extremely resistant to drugs (so-called Extensively Drug-Resistant TB or XDR-TB) brings home the WHO’s unsettling message for World TB Day - ‘TB anywhere is TB everywhere’.

The slogan is backed by sobering statistics. More than 365 000 cases of TB were reported in the Europe in 2005, 10,000 more than for 2004. The figures for Europe are worrying enough, but XDR-TB in southern Africa is particularly threatening given the prevalence there of HIV infection. Although TB can infect anyone, people with HIV are at greater risk because they are less able to fight off infection. If, as is so often the case, they have undiagnosed TB, they will provide good conditions for the development of XDR-TB.

“Supporting patients to complete a full course of TB drugs is the key to preventing drug resistance developing”. says John Walley, Professor in International Public Health and co-director of the DFID funded Communicable Disease Research Programme (COMDIS) based in Leeds.

XDR-TB develops when people infected with TB already resistant to first-line treatments fail to complete courses of second-line drug treatment. The WHO wants US$ 650 million per year for the next eight years to diagnose and treat more than 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB but the success of its TB strategy relies on high levels of compliance of TB patients in taking daily medication over 6-8 months. A tall order when you consider how difficult it is to complete even a one-week course of antibiotics.

In this light Britain’s response to the call for more funds may seem like a drop in the ocean but it is additional to long-term support of research such as COMDIS, which focuses on delivering better TB care in poorer countries. Such research has already helped the WHO to refine its TB strategy.

Professors John Walley and James Newell and their colleagues in Pakistan and Nepal have been researching ways of improving TB treatment within national TB programmes for many years. Their work, and research by other scientists in other countries, helped the WHO to move away from rigid directly observed treatment to stressing patient-friendly support.

Rather than requiring people to make expensive visits to clinics in order to be supervised while they take their TB medication, the emphasis is now on supporting the patients’ families and communities in helping people with TB through their illness and long-term treatment.

The COMDIS model embeds research within national TB programmes and has
proved hugely successful in Pakistan where new guidelines for TB health workers have been taken up nationwide. ‘We have contributed to a rise in recorded successful treatment rates from around 30 percent before the national scale-up of training to an average of 84 percent since’, says Professor Walley.

COMDIS has taken the patient-friendly approach to TB care to Swaziland and has begun to apply this to anti-retroviral treatment for people with HIV. Community-based care is part of the package to improve adherence to treatment and avoid the development of resistance to TB and anti-retroviral drugs. ‘TB does not respect international borders’, Professor Walley points out. ‘Controlling TB in these countries reduces the risk to us in the UK’.

Professor John Walley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.who.int/tb/en/
http://www.stoptb.org/events/world_tb_day/2007/default.asp
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>