Tuberculosis

3,800 TB and Aids sufferers are getting help

Apart from developing a programme for fighting Tuberculosis in cooperation with Indian government departments and the World Health Organisation (WHO), wortundtat has also built a special clinic for tuberculosis sufferers in Chilakaluripet. Due to the fact, that wortundtat workers make sure that the patients do indeed take their medication, the treatment successes are really very good. A report about this work is included in wortundtat magazine 4/09. For further information on fighting tuberculosis in India, please read the interview with lung specialist Prof. em. Nikolaus Konietzko.

Tuberculosis is often associated with AIDS. Almost every fifth tuberculosis sufferer tests HIV-positive.

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis – scourge of the poor

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection, which has affected about 2 million people worldwide – most of them in poor countries. In accordance with the World Health Organisation, about 1.77 million people died of TB in 2007 – this equals 4,850 deceased persons per day. About 9.27 million people were newly infected during the same period, whereby 1.37 million were also HIV-positive at the time of the infection. One assumes that one person suffering from “open tuberculosis” (the bacteria are traceable in the sputum) infects about 10 to 15 other persons per year.

The diagnosis is relatively simple: the bacteria in the sputum can be detected under a microscope.
It is important that patients take their medication (antituberculotic drugs) regularly during the treatment over a period of six months in order to prevent the development of resistant (resistant against the antibiotics) bacteria. This would additionally make the treatment of future sufferers more difficult. Over the past years, research has been quite slow in developing fast acting antibiotics.

The DOTS-Programme of the WHO to fight TB (which is also used in the TB Unit supported by wortundtat) is based on the following pillars:

  • Political engagement of the participating country enables increasing and permanently sustainable financing.
  • The diagnosis is carried out by means of microscopic examination of the sputum.
  • The patient is supported because the treatment is standardised and carried out under supervision.
  • An effective drugs administration and supply system ensures the availability of high quality and permanently available medication.
  • Therapy and effect are recorded and evaluated on a regular basis.

One of the UNO Millennium Development Goals for 2015 with regard to fighting TB is to stop the continuous rise in the number of new cases (Incidence) and to reverse the trend. According to information provided by the WHO for 2009, the figures, apart from in Eastern Europe, are within the expected scope.
Compared to the figures for 1990, it is the goal of the Stop TB Partnership Programme of the WHO, to half the number of existing cases (prevalence) and the number of those dying of the disease (mortality rate) by 2015. If there is not a significant change in circumstances, this target will not be achieved in Africa and Europe.

Further information is available in an Information Paper of the WHO on fighting TB (in English).