Tuesday, May 30, 2023

World Tuberculosis Day: the situation in Europe

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In September, the world has new goals

In 2021, the highest volume of cases will occur in the South Asia-WHO region with the notification of 46% of new vessels. After, the African Region with 23% of new diagnoses and the Western Pacific Region with 18%.

Tuberculosis (Photo: Freepik)
Angel Luis Jimenez 03/24/23 13:00

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2021 alone, more than 1.6 million people worldwide will die of tuberculosis, a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Of these, approximately 187,000 were people living with HIV. Tuberculosis is the fourteenth leading cause of mortality and the second leading cause of death from infectious disease, second only to Covid-19. Estimates show that in 2021 there will be 10.6 million new cases of tuberculosis (6 million men, 3.4 million women, and about 1.2 million children).

World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated every March 24. A day on which it is necessary to remember that we talk about a disease that is preventable and curable and, although it is present in all countries. In 2021, the highest volume of cases will occur in the South Asia-WHO region with the notification of 46% of new vessels. They were followed by the African Region with 23% of new diagnoses and the Western Pacific Region with 18%.

87% of all new diagnoses in 2021 will occur in the 30 low- and middle-income countries that have the highest global disease burden. In 2020, India, Indonesia, China, the Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Philippines and Bangladesh reported more than two-thirds of global cases.

Multi-resistant tuberculosis is now one of the main public health problems and a real threat to health security. More if we consider that only one in three people will have tuberculosis resistant to available drugs in 2020.


Although the population and burden of tuberculosis is higher in low- and middle-income countries, we have already seen that no region of the world is safe from this health threat. That is who the Regional Office for Europe and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) wanted to highlight today with the publication of a new report on the evolution of tuberculosis observed in the old continent.

Only one in three people with tuberculosis resistant to readily available drugs accessed them in 2020

Both companies warn that Europe is still a long way from reaching the goals set in the plan to end tuberculosis, reducing its incidence by 80% and deaths by 90% by 2030. WHO Europe and the EDCDC continue to have the necessary tools. to achieve the goals, but the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 had a significant impact on the achievements. For this reason, all Nations must vigorously renew their efforts and we want to meet the goals for the year 2030.

Returning to the aforementioned report, we see that despite a slight recovery of 1.1% in 2021, compared to 2020, 166,026 new and recurrent cases of tuberculosis were reported in the European Region, 164,187 in 2020 and 216,368 in 2019. Shortly before the pandemic, containing the old continents the speed of decline both in terms of incidence and experienced mortality, but in 2021 tuberculosis mortality increased in relation to 2020 and the downward trend stabilized for the first time in the last two decades.

Experts explain that epidemic trends with an incidence level of less than 10 hundred thousand inhabitants vary widely, but they warn that European countries include nine of the 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the world.

It is estimated that the burden of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in the region has increased: one in three cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in the region is resistant to rifampicin and only 62% of patients with pulmonary tuberculosis are aware of their resistance. There is concern that about 30% of patients with resistance to rifampicin also have resistance to fluoroquinolones.

European countries include nine of the 30 countries with the highest burden of multidrug-resistant TB in the world

In both the EU/EEA and WHO European Regions, reported tuberculosis treatment success rates remain below targets for all cohorts. Successful treatment outcomes for new and recurrent TB and rifampicin-resistant TB and multidrug-resistant TB cohorts are 73.4 and 57.2%, respectively. 71.7% of new diagnoses and relapses reported in the EU/EEA in 2020 had a successful 12-month treatment outcome in 2021.


“Despite the challenges, these are extraordinary times,” said QUI Europe Regional Director Hans Henri P. Kluge. From his experience advocates to make the “greatest” of new technologies, such as faster molecular diagnostics, better and shorter diets for prevention, treatment and care, and also for innovative digital health solutions.

Kluge promises us “the scientific and medical tools to recover lost ground.” However, he cautions that “partnerships between Member States and donor organizations and the founding and affected communities are urgently required if all people living with TB are to reach and be given the necessary treatment and care.”

Next September, on the occasion of the second United Nations High-Level Congress on Tuberculosis, leaders from Europe and other continents will commit to new goals and establish new milestones to end tuberculosis.

“These cares will be the promise that we will help the people who need it most, as tuberculosis is very much a disease of poverty and neglect, shrouded in shame and discrimination, affecting anyone who is vulnerable,” Kluge said. “Now is the time for a renewed plan to end the trajectory of TB in the European Region, and around the world once and for all.”

Because everyone needs health… ConSalud.es

Nation World News Desk
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