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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/28/23

It is time to get back to basics if we are to end TB

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It is time to get back to basics if we are to end TB

SHOBHA SHUKLA, BOBBY RAMAKANT - CNS

It is time to think out of the box to bridge the gap in healthcare coverage, and reach all those who need it
It is time to think out of the box to bridge the gap in healthcare coverage, and reach all those who need it
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This year's World TB Day theme is #WeCanEndTB. However, many nations in the global north were successful in eliminating TB as a public health threat many decades back.

"We can end TB in India and many other high burden nations. It is achievable - we have achieved this milestone in countries of the global north in the past. I come from a country (Australia) which was successful in getting rid of TB in the 1970s. Few other countries in the global north successfully did that in the 1950s and 1960s. But then we moved our foot away from the accelerator, and stopped doing the things that helped us end TB," said Professor (Dr) Guy Marks, President and interim Executive Director of International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), and noted lung health researcher from University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Active case finding and breaking the chain of infection transmission

Decades back, countries in the global north did active case finding - so that healthcare services could reach everyone with TB - and made efforts to break the chain of transmission of TB infection by protecting people from getting infected from those who had the disease, said Dr Marks.

But in the rest of the world, especially in nations of the global south, we did not do this despite the evidence that the approach helped richer nations get rid of TB as a public health threat back then. "This represents a great betrayal of billions of people in the global south," said Dr Guy Marks.

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