TB Awareness: Prevention is Still Better than Cure

Posted in Medshield Wellness | 04 March 2019

“Everyone with TB should have access to the innovative tools and services they need for rapid diagnosis, treatment and care. This is a matter of social justice, fundamental to our goal of universal health coverage. Given the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis, ensuring high quality and complete care will also benefit global health security.” - Margaret Chan Director General of the World Health Organization. There have been many promises and plans developed to address underdiagnoses, the stigma related to TB, the poor access to proper health care facilities, access to medication, assessment and support.

March is the official month of TB awareness, and World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus

The World Health Organization has estimated that there are nine million individuals living with active TB. In 2014, 1.5 million (1.1 million HIV-negative and 0.4 million HIV-positive) people died from TB. The total number of people that die from TB is constantly on the rise. These numbers emphasize the urgent need to educate the public about this disease. The general public needs to be made aware that these figures are extremely high for a disease that is preventable and curable. There have been an estimated 22 million lives saved through use of Directly Observed Treatments (DOTS) and the Stop TB Strategy recommended by WHO.

Safety Precautions

Tuberculosis is the number two killer worldwide. An outline of steps to be taken in an effort to obtain treatment and a cure for TB, as well as to help contain the spread of the disease, is just some of the information that should be made available to the general public to aid TB awareness.

  • If you are showing signs or symptoms of TB, get tested.
  • If an individual has the HIV virus, they must do regular checks to ensure they do not have TB.
  • If you are participating in support groups, ensure you wear a mask while assisting.
  • Ensure you know what strain of TB you have. If you are not properly diagnosed, antibiotics will not work as they should.
  • Open windows in crowded areas

At Medshield we believe that raising daily awareness about tuberculosis, what it is, and how to prevent its spread can help lower tuberculosis rates around the globe. Each of our 7 Benefit options have liberal wellness benefits available. With the Wellness Benefit our members have access to essential tests for early diagnosis and preventative care purposes.

Sources:

https://www.gov.za/speeches/tb-awareness-month-2018-30-nov-2017-1020

https://www.everydayhealth.com/tuberculosis/guide/risk-factors-causes-prevention/

https://www.mariestopes.org.za/tb-awareness-month-10-facts-tuberculosis/

https://santa.org.za/coping-with-tb.html

http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/index.php?page=newsdetail&news_id=14603

https://www.labourguide.co.za/health-and-safety/1374-tb-what-employers-should-know

https://www.who.int/tb/End_TB_brochure.pdf?ua=1