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NEWS: Africa Declares Tuberculosis Emergency

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posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 03:40 AM
The nations of Africa have declared a continent wide State of Emergency for Tuberculosis as over 1,500 people die daily of the disease across the lands. African health Minister issued the Emergency on Friday at a metting of The World Health Organization in Mozambique. Fatalities run at half a million people a year and yet it can be cured with a six month course of anti biotics which cost around 20 dollars.
African health ministers have declared a tuberculosis emergency for the first time ever.

The increasing number of vulnerable people due to HIV and AIDS has pushed the number of TB related deaths to 1,500 a day across the continent.
African health ministers will declare tuberculosis an emergency at a meeting this week and call for greater access to life-prolonging drugs to fight AIDS, Mozambican and WHO officials said on Tuesday.

Ministers and WHO executives are holding four days of talks in Mozambique on how to halt the spread of Africa's top killers - largely HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB).

The HIV pandemic has posed major challenges to TB control efforts globally. Tuberculosis is a leading cause of death among people who are HIV-positive accounting for about 11 percent of AIDS deaths worldwide, the WHO's Internet Web site says.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

TB unfortunately s often found in AIDS patients because of their lack of resistence agains tthe Mycobacteria. Smokers are more suseptible to the disease and although marijuana was a known cure for illness before anti biotics were discovered, smoking pipes shared have been a known spreader of the illness.

A normal healthy person usually shows resistence to the bacteria and it does not become a long term issue for them, except when the bacteria lies dormant and attacks when the hosts immune system is lowered.

Over 48 hours of contact is usually required to contract the illness, it is not as easily spread from person to person as the flu is but samples taken from patients sickrooms have been found to contain traces of the mycobacteria in the dust.

A simple skin test, though inconclusive can show if a person has contracted the ilness, called a mantoux test and further testing by chest Xray and sputum stains and cultures. These are the standard testing proceedures and are unfortunately not accurate and can leave undecided results.

PCR testing is a modern form of DNA testing for the illness but is not often used because of the high cost. In previous tests positive samples were found in 85 percent of samples previously tested and found negative by stain and culture methods.

This is one reason why the disease is spreading not just across Africa but Asia to and it has been found recently again in England after the government had previously declared the country to be tuberculosis free.

Inadequate testing and poor conditions suffered by hepatitis c sufferers and AIDS patients within Africa are ensuring the high death rate continues. The AIDS epidemic has now grown to massive proportions and the tuberculosis goes along with it.

Poverty conditions can once again spread the disease which goes back to what I previously mentioned about the positive dust samples for the disease. African women often get tuberculosis of the skin by kneeling on floors coughed on by pulmonary tuberculosis sufferers.

Hopefully by declaring this emergency funding can now be received by the African nations and a worldwide effort at cleaning up the region should be undertaken

Bob Geldoffs African poverty concerts were a great start to wake the world up to Africas plight but there is so much more to be done.

Related News Links:

[edit on 27-8-2005 by Mayet]

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 04:29 AM
I am a little shocked with all the concern these days for the spread of disease that this isn't getting more response.
It seems rather significant.

Is this a repeat of a thread I missed?

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 05:11 AM
The story was released on the wires today.

I am always on the lookout for stories on tuberculosis because as you may guess from my comments, I have an interest in the area. My husband was suspected of having the bacteria last year. I immediately became suspicious here because of cover up's government denials and other issues with inadequate testing proceedures surrounding his case.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 07:59 AM
I'm not surprised. Months ago, a guy at work had to quit because of health complications with TB. And ta-daaa he was from Zimbabwe. This is in Dallas, TX folks. I know of another guy who has it real bad, and he's a workout freak. The doctor told his girlfriend, since she had to get tested, that a lot of cases have been springing up in the area and its largely because of sick third world immigrants who some how get over here regardless of their health condition.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 07:45 PM
this is not good, there are already drug resistant strains out there.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 08:36 PM
I think the issue of treatment is more of what the treatment currently consists of.
No new research or cures are high on the list of research organizations. The western world has pretty much rid their countries of the illness with only a few sprinkling of cases here and there which are quickly hushed up and wiped over.
Its a poor country issue and if we are not going to help them with basic food, medicine and research has no chance.

The treatment currently consists of two to three different anti biotic treatments taken in daily doses over a six month period. The whole six months is required to clear the mycobacteria up. The problem doesn't so much happen with resistent strains of the bacteria because the bacteria doesn't change in form much. although there is other similiar illnesses in the mycobacteria family including such ones as mycobacterium marinarum, one caught when spiked from fish. The problem occurs when the person being treated develops resistence to the anti biotics being treated with and allergies to treatment.

There are other antibiotics available as well as the core ones like streptomycin but these are not as effective.

The other problem with treatment is control, the patient must take the daily doses and must take them for that six months, unless many patients are confined to an isolation situation many stop taking the medication when they start to feel good, causing the bacteria to mulpiply again quickly.

These treatments have been used for years, effectively or otherwise but no new cures or drugs have been targetted at tuberculosis for many many years.

As a side note I know quite a few people who were treated up to years ago for tuberculosis and now they have cancer. Including one who died of lung cancer four years after being hospitalized with TB. Is there a link? No studies seem to have been done. It makes sense that there could be a link with other research showing recently that some breast cancers can be caused by viruses and some cervical cancers being caused by other bacterias and viruses.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 08:47 PM

Originally posted by CAPT PROTON
I'm not surprised. Months ago, a guy at work had to quit because of health complications with TB. And ta-daaa he was from Zimbabwe. This is in Dallas, TX folks. I know of another guy who has it real bad, and he's a workout freak. The doctor told his girlfriend, since she had to get tested, that a lot of cases have been springing up in the area and its largely because of sick third world immigrants who some how get over here regardless of their health condition.

It's not just coming from third world immigrants.......just a couple of decades ago, it was assumed that this country had beaten TB, and people, including our health officials, became lax about treating it, and it got a chance to rebound.

I worked at a state hospital with a TB ward......and there were still plenty of people with it, right here in this country. After years of housing patients long term....till their TB was cured, the state decided the patients could simply be sent home to take their medication....thereby saving the state some money.

The nurses I worked with predicted then that the disease would revive itself over the next few years. Patients, who were usually those who were poor and uneducated, would begin to feel better and would see no need to keep taking their medicine. If they did this before they were cured, the germ would have a chance to become resistant. And then it would spread again. In the years since, I see more and more signs that those nurses were right.

It was a killer then, infecting even young children, and fatal if it was not treated in time.....I myself did the paper work on one 19 year old who died from it....right here, in this country.

It should never have been taken so 'lightly' by our medical community and health officials.....

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 08:57 PM
Mayet, you have really been on the ball posting this type of story

TB is a problem even in "First" world countries. the transmission rate in a country without a modern healthcare system, a public health department to track down and isolate cases, cramped living conditions, and the inability to provide even basic care is a recipe for a total disaster.

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