As the world gears up to mark the World TB Day, which falls on March 24th each year, Tuberculosis remains one of the leading causes of death in the world. It’s reported that there is one new infection occurring per second, with worldwide two million deaths and nine million new cases of disease annually.
Kenya is ranked 13th among the 22 high TB burdened countries in the world and currently we have an estimated 2,300 multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients (MDR-TB patients).
Last month health official raised alarm over a rapid rise of TB in the coastal region with Mombasa, Taita Taveta,Voi and Mwatate recording high rates of the reported TB cases.
TB AND HIV
Statistics showed that in every 100 people suffering from tuberculosis in the region, 50 are HIV positive. According to David Musia, the coordinator in charge of TB at the Voi control unit, in every 100,000 people, 195 were suffering from TB: “This is because a person living with HIV is usually at high risk of getting TB because he or she usually suffers low immunity”, he said.
MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT TUBERCULOSIS (MDR-TB)
Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and weak health systems have been the biggest threat facing global tuberculosis control. Poor diagnosis and lack of accessing medical attention in time has also been said to play a role in spreading of the epidemic and hence people have been sensitized to refer their friends or family who might have suffered persistent coughs to medical facilities as early diagnosis can save their lives.
TB – THE SYMPTOMS
Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person. Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. The symptoms may include:
- A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
- No appetite
- Sweating at night