World TB Day raises awareness about the global epidemic

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Doctor checking for tuberculosis

Doctor checking for tuberculosis

One-third of the world’s population is currently infected with TB or tuberculosis.

On this, world TB day one of the focuses is on prevention and awareness.

The World Health Organization says TB remains a leading cause of death from infectious diseases worldwide, second only to HIV/AIDS. Last year alone, 8.4 million people contracted TB and 1.4 million died from the disease.

WHO is working to cut TB prevalence rates and deaths by half by 2015.

Dr Malgosia Grzemska is coordinator of WHO's Stop TB Department.

"What is actually tragic is that this disease is fully preventable and curable in children if properly diagnosed. And it's not very expensive to treat. It only costs about three cents per day for the preventative treatment with a drug called isoniazid, and it only costs 50 cents a day for the full treatment regime for children who get the disease."

The annual event on 24 March marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch detected the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus, the first step towards diagnosing and curing the disease.

Duration: 28″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
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