Tuberculosis Is A Global Disease Essay

1478 words - 6 pages


Tuberculosis is a deadly disease that is now affecting our world and the people living in it in a horrible way. Due to many factors such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, and lack of health care, many third world and developing countries have been left very vulnerable to tuberculosis. It is affecting a large part of these countries and is leading them deeper into poverty and sickness. The effort to help these countries against tuberculosis has only been slightly effective against this widespread and destructive disease.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that affects one third of the world's population. The most infected areas are developing counties or third worlds countries such as ...view middle of the document...

7 times greater than that among U.S.-born people (2.7 cases per 100,000 population), showing a raised rate ratio from 1998 (7.0) and from 2002 (8.0). For the top three reporting states (California, New York, and Texas), the 1998--2003 decrease in cases among U.S.-born people (32.2%; from 3,179 to 2,155) was four times larger than the reduction among foreign born people (7.6%; from 4,420 to 4,086) (Trends in Tuberculosis Page 1- United States).
Africa has the highest rate of tuberculosis per capita, although it changes within the African countries from 17.8% in Cameroon to 70% in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Africa only has 11% of the world's population, but it accounts for more than a quarter of people infected with tuberculosis. It has an estimated 2.4 million tuberculosis cases and 540,000 tuberculosis deaths annually (WHO declares TB an emergency in Africa Para 4). In Zambia, which has a population of 11 million, 64% lives on less than one dollar a day. There are now 680 cases per 100,000 people of TB in Zambia. The TB epidemic has been made worse by the HIV epidemic in Zambia. It has an HIV prevalence rate of 17% and more than 70% of TB patients in Zambia are also infected with HIV/AIDS (Projects in Africa Para 1). In Malawi, which has a population of 12 million, 42% live on less than one dollar a day. In addition to this, Malawi is one of the worst infected HIV/AIDS countries and TB is a foremost cause of death among people who are HIV positive. TB cases have risen dramatically over the last two decades. There has been a 300% rise from 1984 to 1993. Malawi's HIV/AIDS epidemic and high levels of poverty have made attempts to reduce TB infection rates nearly impossible. (Projects in Africa Para 2) These counties barely have enough money for food and housing, let alone money for tuberculosis medication. The levels of drug resistance in Africa are relatively low, compared to countries like Russia and Estonia. Since the treatment of MDR (drug-resistant) TB is almost impossible for most African countries, prevention of drug resistant tuberculosis should be a major priority (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Para 1).

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, African countries like Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi were a few to join the global tuberculosis control strategy now known as DOTS. Unfortunately, over the past 15 years, tuberculosis incidence rates have rocketed in the region. It has escalated to as high as four-fold in Malawi and five-fold in Kenya. This rise is due largely to HIV/AIDS, poverty, and weak health systems. This epidemic has made Africa very poor and underdeveloped. “It is tragic that this disease has not been brought under control, because I am living proof that TB can be effectively treated and cured," said Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who, along with former South African President Nelson Mandel, is a survivor of the disease. "The problem is huge and medical authorities cannot overcome it alone, they...

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