FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

PCI Mexico teams with Mexican public health agencies to stop TB infections

Mexico's public health agencies have teamed with PCI Mexico's Solucion TB program and other partners to increase the number of people cured of the disease and reduce the total number of TB deaths in the country.

PCI's approach to TB involves strengthening the overall system for TB prevention and control on local, state and national levels while also promoting a person-centered model.

More than 10 million individuals have been reached by PCI's TB and co-morbidities program, which have resulted in improved testing of TB in people with TB, rising from 50 percent to 91 percent, and increasing testing of TB in individuals with HIV/AIDS from 20 percent to 81 percent.

"Our data shows how weakened immune systems leave individuals with one disease vulnerable to multiple diseases like TB, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. This program leverages health resources to improve patient treatment and success rates," Blanca Lomeli, the country director for PCI Mexico, said.

One in three people worldwide is infected with TB, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 8.7 million new TB cases were reported globally in 2011, while 1.4 million people died from the disease in 2010. In addition, the rise of multi-drug resistant TB strains have increased the difficulty of treating the disease.

More than 18,000 people were diagnosed with TB in Mexico in 2012. Twenty percent of those diagnosed also have diabetes and seven percent have HIV/AIDS, which accounts for more than 30 percent of the deaths in people with TB.