Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Looms
In its annual statement earlier this year, the World Health Organisation stated that it believed the United Nations Millenium Development goal to ‘halt and reverse the TB epidemic by 2015’ is to be seen as largely successful, and is well on its way to becoming a reality.
In the same breath, the WHO, who announced that Cambodia had reduced cases of TB by around 45% over the last decade, stated that the epidemic is still notably more dangerous in areas such as Africa and Europe, where treatment and diagnosis was slower due to various reasons including an increase in drug-resistant strains of the Tuberculosis causing bacteria.
The rise of these resistant strains may pose a threat to the eradication of the disease in both the short and medium term, as success in other regions may lead to an eventual budget cut, leaving the worst affected areas short of funding, staff and aid.
The eradication of the desease does, however, seem inevitable, as recent success and development of treatments do seem to be getting more effective as we head into the second decade of the 21st century. However, with the increase of drug-resistant strains, it must be argued that further steps must be taken to prevent further problems with the eradication process down the line.
A tendency towards the development, in the children of TB sufferers, of antibodies making them immune to the TB causing bacteria shows signs of progress towards the eventual eradication of the epidemic.
Written By Wesley Geyer
Creative Writer for ATKA SA