MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Worldwide update shows drug-resistant TB rate is worsening

Worldwide TB update for 2015 | Courtesy of cdc.gov
The World Health Organization (WHO) World Tuberculosis Report 2015, which shows the diagnosis rate for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) cases, states the diagnosis rate is worsening instead of improving.

Just one out of four of the world’s 480,000 people who are expected to have multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) received diagnosis in 2014. This means that just 26 percent of the people with MDR-TB will be able to receive treatments for their illness.

The report also shows that in 2014, the whole number of MDR-TB diagnoses was less than it had been in 2013, even though the estimated rates of MDR-TB remained steady. In 2014, 123,000 people were diagnosed with MDR-TB, compared to the 136,000 people who were diagnosed in 2013.

“Yet another year of disheartening statistics, such as TB’s persistent annual 1.5 million death toll, should serve as a wake-up call that enormous work still needs to be done to reduce the burden of this ancient, yet curable disease,” Grania Brigden, interim medical director with the Doctors Without Borders' Access Campaign, said. “When it comes to the deadlier forms of the disease – such as multidrug-resistant TB – the news is particularly bleak. Despite progress in rolling out better diagnostics such as rapid molecular tests, fewer people were detected with MDR-TB in 2014 than in 2013, even though the estimated number of new cases remained steady.”

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