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World Tuberculosis Day 2017: Are we doing enough?
24 Mar 2017
24 March 2017 marks World Tuberculosis Day.
Tuberculosis, known as TB is an air-borne disease that is transmitted through fine respiratory droplets from an infected person. It usually affects the lungs and if not treated properly, TB can be a fatal disease.
This year’s World TB Day there is the same from 2016, which is “Unite to End TB”. There is a special focus on the efforts that can be taken to overcome barriers to access quality TB care and leave no one behind.
Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, Programme Leader of the Antimicrobial Resistance Programme at the National University of Singapore’s Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health contributed an article to Brink Asia. He talks about the number of new cases and deaths that were caused by TB in 2015, why TB is such a difficult topic to address to the general public and how governments and communities all around the world have a part to play to try and stop the TB epidemic.
Tuberculosis (TB) still remains as an epidemic in majority of countries in the world, including Singapore and it still exerts a ruinous toll on the health and economy of individuals and society.
Researching the history of TB in Singapore, Assoc Prof Hsu and Dr Loh Kah Seng, a historian and co-founder of Chronicles Research and Education, have both noted that “it is imperative that Singapore utilises its international collaborative links, in conjunction with its national and community capacities, to deal with the persisting threat of TB, as it had done throughout its history.”
But are governments and healthcare professionals giving the disease the amount of attention it deserves? Is there more that can be done to educate the public about the disease and its continued calamitous health and economic impact on the individuals and societies?