Deaths from tuberculosis increased after 10 years

From 2007 until the pandemic COVID-19 was the most common cause of death from infectious diseases.

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The difficult access of patients with tuberculosis to health structures, the late diagnosis and the inability to follow up are reflected in the recent epidemiological data of the World Health Organization (WHO), as for the first time in ten years there has been an increase in deaths from tuberculosis worldwide.

Tuberculosis continues to be one of the greatest threats to world health, despite advances in its diagnosis and treatment. From 2007 until the pandemic COVID-19 was the most common cause of death from infectious diseases.

2020 saw a 18% reduction in newly diagnosed cases of tuberculosis worldwide (at 2012 levels). In 2020 it is estimated that 1.500.000 people died of tuberculosis (compared to 1.400.000 in 2019). The number of people treated for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and latent tuberculosis infection was significantly reduced (by 15% and 21% respectively). There has been a significant reduction in the resources now available to fight tuberculosis worldwide.

Recent studies conclude that over the next five years new cases of tuberculosis may increase by 6,3 million and deaths from tuberculosis by 1,4 million due to the effects of the pandemic and the burden on the health system.

On the occasion of today, the World Anti-Tuberculosis Day, the professor of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and president of the Pulmonary Society, Stelios Loukidis, mentions that nowadays another airborne infectious disease the COVID-19 has almost monopolized the interest of the world community, jeopardizing the progress made in recent years in the fight against tuberculosis. In Greece, the consequences of reduced diagnosis and access to treatment are expected to become apparent in the coming years, the professor notes.

In addition, the war in Ukraine, a country with particularly high rates of tuberculosis, inevitably disrupts the provision of tuberculosis-related health services in the country and leads to millions of refugees, posing an additional threat to tuberculosis control in Europe. Loukidis.

March 24 has been established as World Tuberculosis Day as on March 24, 1882 Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the mycobacterium tuberculosis, which paved the way for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This year the theme for World Tuberculosis Day from the World Health Organization is “Invest to End TB. Save Lives ”and reflects the need to strengthen research and innovation, as well as to ensure adequate resources for TB care and prevention, in order to meet the commitments of world leaders to eradicate the disease.