Author(s): Wares F, Falzon D
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Abstract Each year there are about nine million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) in the world and over one million people die of the disease. The emergence of resistance to the drugs that are used to treat TB threaten to undo much of the progress achieved in controlling it in recent decades. In some countries, up to one third or more of TB cases have multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB; combined resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin), requiring a much longer and toxic treatment than that suffices for other TB patients. Countries have committed to achieve universal access to care for MDR-TB for their populations by 2015. In this article, we use national data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess global progress in detection (against WHO estimates) and treatment of MDR-TB. Over one half of all the world's MDR-TB patients are concentrated in three countries: India, China, and the Russian Federation. In 2012, about 78,753 TB cases were reported to have been started on MDR-TB treatment, about 25\% of the estimated MDR-TB case load in the world. Only 48\% of over 35,000 MDR-TB patients started on treatment in 2010 were reported to have completed their treatment successfully. The global MDR-TB targets for 2015 will not be achieved unless barriers to the expansion of reliable diagnosis and effective treatment of MDR-TB are not urgently overcome in many countries. New diagnostics and medicines will be required to speed up this drive within the new WHO global strategy which now looks well beyond 2015.
This article was published in Indian J Tuberc
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy