The information here is provided by courtesy of the Network's short online course - "An Introduction to Global Health".
Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s top infectious killer. Every year 10 million people fall ill with it and 1.5 million die from it.
Most of the people who fall ill with it live in low- and middle-income countries. Around half are in 8 countries – Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and South Africa. (Map 1)
Cause and susceptibility
It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Spread is most commonly airborne from someone with TB of the lung - pulmonary TB.
People with reduced immunity e.g. from malnutrition, diabetes or are smokers are more likely to become ill with it.
People suffering from HIV are 20 – 30 times more likely to develop active TB than the general population. It is the leading cause of death of people with HIV.
Prevention and Treatment
TB is preventable and curable. Through co-ordinated programmes, death rates from TB have been falling across the world, though it is a slow decline (Figure 1).
A challenge for treatment is that the bacterium causing TB has become resistant to some of the drugs that were previously used. Patients now need a combination of drugs and to complete the course in order to avoid developing drug resistance.
WHO : Tuberculosis Overview
WHO : Tuberculosis fact sheet
WHO : Antimicrobial Resistance
WHO : The End TB Strategy