Treating TB

Treating TB

´╗┐The Eradication of Tuberculosis: Overcoming a Global Challenge.
In 2013, 9 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and 1.5 million died from the disease (World Health Organisation, 2014). This makes TB second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent (World Health Organisation, 2014). Hopes which emerged in the mid-20th century of eradicating the disease were dashed in the 1980s with the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains of tuberculosis (MDR-TB). This subsequent resurgence from a 90% decrease in the mortality rate lead the World Health Organisation to declare TB as a global health emergency. With the introduction of the Millennium Development Goals -in particular Goal 6 (Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases)- and the WHO target of reducing case incidence of TB to 1 per 1,000,000 there has been renewed impetus and stronger efforts in fighting the disease. This essay will look at the prospects of TB eradication and whether current efforts are sufficient enough. This will be done by looking at TBs place in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and how the progress made during the Millennium Development Goals period can be continued and built upon. Furthermore, we will look at medically based efforts and the growing challenge of fighting MDR-TB.
For the developing countries, tuberculosis represents both a humanitarian crisis and a limiting factor to growth. The disease mainly affects young adults who should be in their most productive years and incidence of the disease among this age group has serious implications for the provision of education and on the economic prospects of a country. Tuberculosis is widely viewed as a disease of the poor, but it also affects individuals who earn higher incomes. Breadwinners who become ill with tuberculosis are often too sick to work for weeks or months thus they and their families may not only face financial catastrophe but can suffer their own health...