BY FRANICS OKOYE
When Mr. Okoro (Not real name) contacted TB, he was taken to the hospital for treatment, but he did not return from the hospital again. All efforts by the doctors to save his life failed, and he died .Mr. Okoro is just one of the hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, that has been hit by this type of TB, which is called multi drug-resistant TB.
The World Health organization (WHO) report, released recently in 2010, says that in some countries, one in four people have this multidrug resistant TB disease. The Report reveals that multidrug resistance TB (MDR – TB) is on the increase all over the world, with North Western Region of Russia having the greatest number of infections. 28% of all people newly diagnosed with TB in that region had the MDR – TB in 2008, the highest level ever reported to WHO.
DEATHS FROM MDR-TB
According To WHO’s New Multidrug And Extensive Drug Resistance Tuberculosis 2010 Global Report On Surveillance And Response,It is estimated that 440,000 people had this type of killer TB and that over 140,000 of them died. 5% of all MDR – TB cases are from China and India, while in Africa 69,000 cases emerged with the vast majority of them undiagnosed. In Nigeria, the case is not different, as the hospitals are full of people suffering from TB; those unlucky ones suffering from MDR-TB are in real trouble.
According to a non-governmental organization in Onitsha, Nigeria known as TB-WATCH, government can help turn around MDR-TB in Nigeria before it is too late, as our leaders are used to tackling health crisis only when nurses or doctors or other health officials go on strike.
SIGNS OF HOPE
According to stop TB news, tuberculosis programmes face tremendous challenges in reducing MDR-TB rates. But there are encouraging signs that even in the presence of severe epidemics, governments and partners can turn around MDR-TB by strengthening efforts to control the disease and implementing WHO recommendations.
Two countries, Estonia and Latvia have already reversed rising high rates of MDR-TB, ultimately achieving a decline. Countries like U.S.A, China and Hong Kong have already won the battle against MDR-TB.
For Hope to live on, stop TB organization, calls for urgent need for improvements in laboratory facilities, access to rapid diagnosis and treatment with more effective drugs and regimens shorter than the current two years.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRUG RESISTANCE
According to Dr M. Espinal of World Health Organization, one may contact drug resistance TB due to infection from someone who already has it in his body. Selective drug intake, irregular drug supply, poor drug quality, not taking treatment as directed by doctor, inappropriate prescription or erratic absorption of medication.
Dr. Espinal writing in TOMAN’S TUBERCULOSIS, case detection, treatment and monitoring, questions and answer, published by WHO. Geneva, says that “drug resistance among new tuberculosis cases is defined as the presence of resistant strains of mycobacterium tuberculosis in patients who have never received tuberculosis drug or have received them for less than 1 month.”