3 Ways to Engage the Private Sector Against TB

By Petra Stankard, Senior Technical Advisor HIV & TB, PSI, and Dr. Shekhar Waikar, Director of Programs, PSI-India World TB Day, commemorated on March 24th each year, raises our awareness that despite effective drugs and diagnostics, tuberculosis remains a leading cause of death in much of the world. TB is second only to HIV as

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Uniting to Fight Against Pediatric TB

TB is a leading killer of children, its impact rippling through families, communities, and entire countries. While the disease is curable, appropriate treatments designed for children do not currently exist. This is evidence of a longstanding neglect of children with TB. However, TB Alliance, the World Health Organization, and other partners are working to change

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Has it Been Two Weeks?

image005“Do haftey ho gaye kya?” or “Has it been two weeks ?” asks TB superhero Bulgam Bhai. It is an advertising campaign by Project Axshya, funded by The Global Fund. Partners include the Government of India’s Central TB Division, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, PSI and the World Vision.

They feature the hero asking people with a heavy cough if it has been two weeks. Bulgam Bhai’s special power is cough detection and he pops up in places like the city market and on a motorcycle. If people have been coughing for two weeks, Bulgam Bhai tells them that they should go get tested for TB.

“The character keeps repeating, ‘Has it been two weeks?’ to drive home the point that two weeks of cough is dangerous. So far, all programmes have concentrated on TB treatment; this one focuses on detection” said Dr Sarabjit S Chadha of the The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease when the project debuted in Feburary 2012.

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Living with Tuberculosis: A Personal Note

The following post is by Bryn Sakagawa, Deputy Director, Health and Education Office, USAID Central Asian Republics. It originally appears on the USAID Impact blog.

World TB Day has a special meaning for me, and it is not just because of my job as a USAID Health Officer in Kazakhstan.  It is because every morning for the past four months I have taken a daily isoniazid pill to treat my latent tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a contagious chronic bacterial infection that is spread through the air and usually infects the lungs. More than 2 billion people—one-third of the world’s total population—are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB, but do not show symptoms (latent TB). In the United States, between 10 and 15 million people are infected with latent TB. In other parts of the world, like in Central Asia, this number is much higher.

I found out that I had latent TB at the exam to get my first medical clearance as a foreign service officer. I suspect that I was exposed to TB while I was a volunteer in Indonesia years before. Although I was shocked and worried when I got the diagnosis, the nurse reassured me and explained that latent TB is widespread in many developing countries and that there are options for treatment. I was pregnant then so isoniazid treatment—what I’m taking now—was not an option.

I learned soon after I was diagnosed with latent TB that anyone—grandparents, fathers, mothers, and children—can be exposed and infected. In the three minutes that it will take you to read this blog post, nine people will have died from TB. Although my chance of becoming sick with active TB in my lifetime is only 1 in 10, I felt that it was important to mitigate this risk and undergo the six-month treatment regimen. Every year, approximately 2 million people die from TB.

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USAID Recognizes World TB Day

On World Tuberculosis Day, USAID outlines the importance of addressing the disease as well as how it is planning on addressing the global issue. TB has always been the signature disease of the urban poor. In a world that is urbanizing at a rate of 200,000 (people) every day, we must fight TB now before

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Healthy Dose: 2011 World TB Day Edition

Top Story UN Sec. Gen. Ban Worries of Multi-Drug Resistant TB In the Secretary General’s remarks for World Tuberculosis Day, the importance of addressing multi-drug resistant TB featured as a main concern. At the same time, our hope must be tempered by the sobering fact that multi-drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis remain an ever-present threat that,

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