Washington: World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that almost 30 percent of the world population is a victim of tuberculosis and that the figure could increase if government did not work effectively to curb the disease, ANI reported.
It said that among the main causes of the disease spread were deficiency of public health programmes, sale of inaccurate blood tests and drugs misuse.
“What we are seeing worldwide is the emergence of strains of the bacillus causing tuberculosis that are resistant to most of the drugs we have available,” the Independent quoted Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB campaign, as saying.
Though the number of TB deaths has been fallen significantly over the past two decades, especially in China, the emergence of drug-resistant strains threatens to slow progress and jeopardises the WHO’s goal of eradicating the disease as a public health problem by 2050.
“They don’t want to queue in public clinics that are overwhelmed and congested. But the problem with private practitioners is you don’t know who you are meeting and sometimes these people are just incompetent,” he said.
Instead of prescribing the four-drug, six-month regime recommended by the WHO, private clinics prescribe either too many drugs, “which is a waste of money and increases toxicity”, or too few, which, Dr Raviglione said, increases drug resistance.
“Many doctors will not adhere to the correct regime of TB treatment. Often TB is not diagnosed: they just suspect it. They give two tuberculosis drugs, and say come back in four weeks; that is very common,” Professor Sarman Singh, a microbiologist, said.