A new report by the World Health Organisation shows modest reductions in TB deaths globally. It confirms widespread concern that controlling drug-resistant TB remains a greater challenge than previously anticipated.
The WHO's Global Tuberculosis Report reveals that current drugs and vaccines are not as effective.
The report says there is an urgent need to invest in new vaccines to prevent new TB cases in adolescents and adults. It says a new vaccine that could significantly reduce the enormous financial burden of treating drug-resistant TB. Currently there are 12 TB vaccine clinical trials underway and the first efficacy results are expected next year.
Meanwhile, Doctors without Borders’, Helen Cox says with the roll out of GeneXpert machine and the recently released guidelines on decentralising MDR-TB care,
But she highlighted that much more still has to be done. She says continued reliance on specialised hospitals is a barrier to many patients receiving treatment timeously and appropriately.
Cases of TB have doubled in the last 10-years South Africa
The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Professor Umesh Lalloo recently said that TB is a social disease that cannot be tackled without a strong political will. Lalloo was speaking at a two-day symposium being held by the newly-opened KwaZulu-Natal Research Institite for Tuberculosis and HIV in Durban. The meeting brought together scientists and researchers. Lalloo said cases of TB have doubled in the last 10-years South Africa.
"Unless you have good political leadership and it is sustained, any gains you make in managing this epidemic will be sabotaged."