Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Rise of TB in Africa

A bit of a stretch, given the theme of the blog, but I thought it particularly interesting given the fact the movie "The Constant Gardener" opens this week. The film, based on the excellent le Carre' novel, deals with a pharmaceutical scandel involving TB in Kenya. Excerpted from the Independent:

The World Health Organisation is ready to announce a regional emergency over levels of tuberculosis throughout Africa. African health ministers and WHO officials met in Mozambique this week to discuss how to halt the spread of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis in Africa.

By declaring the rising rates of TB infection to be an emergency, it is hoped to unlock extra money from the G8 nations and the Global Fund, which helps developing countries fight disease.

Rates of tuberculosis are rising alarmingly in Africa, where it is linked to the spread of HIV/Aids. HIV weakens the immune system and makes sufferers more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, which they cannot afford to treat.

Tuberculosis is now believed to be the single biggest killer of adults and young people in the world and accounts for a third of Aids-related deaths. In Africa, it kills more than 500,000 people a year


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