Monday February 18, 2019

Integrate National Plans to Eliminate TB by 2030: WHO

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste

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India TB Outreach Work
A TB patient hopeful of being cured in India. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 11, 2017: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told the South East Asian countries to integrate their national plans and mobilise and utilise resources efficiently to reach the Tuberculosis elimination target of 2030, a statement said on Sunday.

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Also Read: Malnutrition makes children susceptible to Tuberculosis: Experts 

The global health body said that there is a need for countries to identify the package of interventions best suited to their challenges — whether that means focusing on strengthening TB services, accelerating case detection or investing in research and development.

“All countries face unique challenges, meaning they should each adapt the regional and global strategies to their context,” said a statement issued by the WHO’s South East Asia Region Office.

“We must avoid taking one-size-fits-all approach, and must instead seek out and embrace tailored solutions that meet specific needs and challenges.”

The five-day 70th Regional Committee Session of WHO South East Asia Region concluded in Male on Sunday.

According to the global health body, by planning effectively and making smart, high-impact interventions, countries across the Southeast Asia Region can lift TB’s significant burden and end the disease as a public health threat once and for all.

Although the region accounts for approximately one quarter of the world’s population, it has nearly half the number of new TB cases and close to 40 per cent of TB deaths globally.

In recognition of TB’s outsized burden, accelerating progress towards the 2030 target — which requires a 90 per cent reduction in TB deaths and 80 per cent decrease in TB incidence — is now one of WHO South-East Asia Region’s flagship priority areas of work. (IANS)

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New Diagnostic Tools Can Help People with Tuberculosis

For the study, the team included 50 people

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WHO will start working towards ending Tuberculosis
Dr. Simon Angelo (L) examines Iman Steven suffering from tuberculosis, held by her mother (R) at the hospital of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), June 15, 2016, at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, South Sudan. VOA

New diagnostic tools such as Machine Learning and precision medicine could help identify tuberculosis patients with the highest risk of reactivation of the disease, say researchers.

Researchers from the University of Michigan in the US have shown that identifying multiple biomarkers can provide a more accurate diagnosis for patients with Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI).

LTBI is when a person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis but does not have active tuberculosis.

“A multi-array test can provide a more detailed, disease specific glimpse into patient’s infection and likely outcome,” said Ryan Bailey, Professor at the varsity.

“Using a precision medicine approach reveals previously obscured diagnostic signatures and reactivation risk potential,” said Bailey.

The new diagnostic tools will help identify patients with the highest risk of reactivation and will benefit from therapy, said the researchers.

A new substance may help fight tuberculosis: study
Novel tools could help treat patients with TB. Wikimedia Commons

In addition, the tools will reduce some of the side effects of over treatment and can be used in the detection of other diseases like autoimmune diseases and cancer, according to the study, published in Integrative Biology.

Currently, LTBI is tested through a skin scratch test or a blood test that can identify one biomarker but cannot distinguish between memory immune response, vaccine-initiated response, and non-tuberculous mycobacteria exposure.

The possibility of correctly identifying the disease through these tests is less than five per cent.

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LTBI affects nearly two billion individuals around the world and about 10 per cent of those cases result in active tuberculosis. The reactivation from latency can happen anytime and the mechanism for it is not well-understood.

For the study, the team included 50 people. (IANS)