Drug resistant TB: The advance of an international menace

When you hear the word drug resistant, what really comes to mind? And again, do all pathogens resist drug effects? Most times, drug resistance is usually illustrated as the reduction in effectiveness of a particular drug such as antimicrobial, antineoplastic or an anthelmintic in treating a health condition.

Why all these questions?

The President of Nigeria Thoracic society, Professor Etete Peters, has said that up to about half a million people all over the world has developed multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), with extensively drug -resistant TB (XDR-TB) reported by 100 countries.

Doesn’t sound like the end of the world, right?

Well, he also added that tuberculosis is the single commonest infectious disease worldwide with an estimated 9 million cases and 1.5million deaths annually.

Why do I feel like that got your attention? Hmmmm…

He, however, made a call on allied bodies and health professionals in the country to put more efforts into educating the public on the ills of tuberculosis.

He made the call in Uyo at a symposium organised by NTS in conjunction with the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) to mark this year’s World Tuberculosis Day.

Speaking during the event, tagged, “Unite to Eradicate Tuberculosis”, Peters said that about one-third of the world population is affected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis each second of the day, noting that there was a need for improved strategies to contain the disease including the expansion of what he described as “Directly Observed Treatment Strategy”.

“Though TB is a medical disease, it has a lot of socio-economic confounders. There is slow progress in tackling drug-resistant TB – 3 in 4 drug-resistant TB cases remain without a diagnosis,” he added.

“About one-third of the world’s population is affected by mycobacterium tuberculosis per second” – PETERS