22 million lives saved, 56 million people treated in global TB efforts
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/7/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
While the world and the international medical community must remain ever vigilant, the World Health Organization, or WHO says that some 22 million lives were saved and 56 million people were successfully treated after Tuberculosis was declared a global health emergency in 1993.
Archbishop Zimowski commended the summit agenda for considering approaches that have been already proven successful in charting future plans to eradicate the disease from the world.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Vatican official told an international meet on the killer disease in Rome last week that this success does not give room for complacency. TB continues to kill millions of people throughout the world, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers said. The archbishop spoke at the opening of the Global Consultation Meeting on the Elimination of Tuberculosis in Countries with a Low Incidence of the Disease.
An estimated 8.6 million cases were reported and 1.3 million people died from tuberculosis worldwide in 2012. TB mostly preys upon the most vulnerable: women, children, migrants, prisoners, homeless and in a disproportionate way those living with HIV/AIDS.
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Both the WHO and the European Respiratory Society, the joint organizers of the July 4-5 summit, have formed a new framework to eliminate tuberculosis in countries with low levels of the disease at the summit.
Zimowski commended the summit agenda for considering approaches that have been already proven successful in charting future plans to eradicate the disease from the world.
The organization has launched a "Stop TB Strategy" that aimed to reduce the global burden of disease by 2015, in line with the Millennium Development Goals. The plan ensures that all patients benefit from universal access to high-quality diagnosis and patient-centered treatment. The strategy also supports the development of new and effective tools to prevent, detect and treat TB.
These efforts have helped the world body to achieve the 2015 goal of expanding the tuberculosis care and control globally, halt and reverse the incidence of the disease in several countries.
As many as 33 countries and territories in the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean Region and the Western Pacific Region now report fewer than 100 Tuberculosis cases in every 1 million people.
While this news is "indeed encouraging," the number of affected people worldwide, millions of deaths due to tuberculosis, the problem of multidrug-resistance and the HIV-associated tuberculosis pose great challenges for the global community, the archbishop said. Africa reports 75 percent of the HIV-associated tuberculosis.
"Combating this killer disease requires the concerted efforts of not only the policy makers and the medical world, but also engagement with civil society organizations and communities to create working partnerships," the archbishop asserted.
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