Multi-drug resistant TB rates rising in Europe

Multi-drug resistant TB rates rising in EuropeWorld health programs aimed at fighting tuberculosis (TB) are being hampered due to the rise in the rates multi-drug resistant TB!

According to the experts from the World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (WHO-ECDC), the spread of multi-drug-resistant TB – called MDR TB - in Europe, as well as the persistence of TB among children, are matters of grave concern.

Noting that “vulnerable populations, including children, still do not have ready access to quality and timely diagnosis and treatment,” the WHO-ECDC report said: “This remains a matter of urgency given the high prevalence of multi- and extensively drug-resistant TB in the region.”

In another study, published in the Lancet medical journal, the researchers have noted that TB cases have touched a record high across the globe; with the ailment accounting for 1.7 million deaths and more than 9 million new cases every year.

The worldwide pervasiveness of diabetes and smoking are essentially the two main factors responsible for the epidemic.

In their report in the Lancet, the researchers - University College London Medical School’s Prof Alimuddin Zumla, and University of Cape Town’s Dr Stephen Lawn – said that the gains that the worldwide TB control programs have made so far are largely facing a threat of being undermined by increasing rates of drug-resistant TB, chiefly in Eastern Europe, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.