Tuberculosis Still Kills 6,000 Every Year in Brazil

Each year 85,000 Brazilians contract tuberculosis, and nearly 6,000 die as a result of this disease. These figures were reported yesterday by the coordinator of the Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis Control Program, Tiseney Santos.

Campaign to combat tuberculosis wants to encourage social participation
Tb, tuberculosis, health, Humberto Costa
Reporter: Cecí­lia Jorge


Tuberculosis Still Kills 6,000 Every Year in Brazil
TB


Each year 85,000 Brazilians contract tuberculosis, and nearly 6,000 die as a result of this disease. These figures were reported yesterday by the coordinator of the Ministry of Health’s National Tuberculosis Control Program, Tiseney Santos.


Brazil is one of the 22 countries in which 80% of tuberculosis cases around the world are concentrated.


Social participation ought to be a strong ally of the government in the campaign to combat tuberculosis.


This is the objective of the Brazilian Partnership against Tuberculosis Forum, launched yesterday by the Minister of Health, Humberto Costa.


“Since this is a disease that doesn’t produce epidemics or outbreaks, we convey the false impression to the population that tuberculosis has ceased to be a problem,” the Minister affirms.


The Forum intends to assemble representatives of organized civil society to disseminate information on the disease.


The expectation is to increase the number of people who seek health services to detect and treat the malady.


In the public health network, treatment is free and lasts for six months.


“The big problem nowadays is that many people abandon treatment,” Costa alerts. 12% of tuberculosis patients currently interrupt their treatment.


Carriers of tuberculosis spread the disease through the air, when they speak, sneeze, or cough close to other people.


Doctors advise people who have had a cough with secretions for over three weeks to direct themselves to a health post.


According to the Ministry of Health’s secretary of Heatlh Surveillance, Jarbas Barbosa, the indices of successful treatment are still unsatisfactory.


At present, 73% of the patients under treatment are cured. The goal is to lift this percentage to 85%, above the 80% minimum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).


Barbosa adds that 9.5 thousand professionals will be trained by the end of this year. Through 2007 the Ministry plans to spend US$ 42.4 million to control the disease.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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