Tag Archives: tuberculosis

Reporting from Zambia with the International Reporting Project

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I will be reporting from Zambia as an International Reporting Project Zambia Fellow starting on July 15. I will be in Africa with nine stellar new media journalists. We all have our own beats and will report on different angles about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. I personally will report on how these infectious diseases acutely affect mothers and children.

You can follow my work on the Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists. You can follow all of our work at the #ZambiaHealth hashtag. You can also follow my personal observations at jjamesonline.com.

Photo:

Children sing at the Fountain of Hope centre in Lusaka, Zambia, during a visit from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The centre helps to rehabilitate thousands of children living on the streets of the Zambian capital.
25 February 2012
Lusaka, Zambia

[Photos] An Historical Look at Tuberculosis

Yesterday marked World TB Day. There is still much to be done to eradicate the infectious disease globally. Here in the United States, TB rates remain around 3.4 cases per 100,000 people. And 62% of TB cases in the United States are from foreign-born persons.

While tuberculosis was rampant in the early to mid part of the twentieth century in the United States, TB has fallen drastically since then as aforementioned. In fact, according to the CDC the number of reported TB cases in 2011 was the lowest recorded since national reporting began in 1953.

Here is a look back at tuberculosis in the United States in art and photos.

2 P.M. Mrs. Katie --- (refused to give their name), 134 1/3 Thompson St., one flight up, front. Making artificial flowers in a crowded and dirty room used as kitchen, bed room, living room, and work room. Mother and family work including 8 and 9 yr. old girls in the photo (who were at home 2 P.M. on a school day) and the little 3 and 4 yr. olds who were helping by separating the petals. See report on schedule. Name is Darelli [or Tarelli?] 3 days after photo was taken the home was sealed up and disinfected by Board of Health for tuberculosis; 14 yr. old boy. Immediately the flower making resumed again. Location: New York, New York (State)
2 P.M. Mrs. Katie — (refused to give their name), 134 1/3 Thompson St., one flight up, front. Making artificial flowers in a crowded and dirty room used as kitchen, bed room, living room, and work room. Mother and family work including 8 and 9 yr. old girls in the photo (who were at home 2 P.M. on a school day) and the little 3 and 4 yr. olds who were helping by separating the petals. See report on schedule. Name is Darelli [or Tarelli?] 3 days after photo was taken the home was sealed up and disinfected by Board of Health for tuberculosis; 14 yr. old boy. Immediately the flower making resumed again. Location: New York, New York (State) January 1910.
Triboro Hospital for Tuberculosis, Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, New York. Kitchen III LC-G612-T-39079
Triboro Hospital for Tuberculosis, Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, New York. Kitchen III January 10, 1941

Sun parlor in tubercular hospital. [between ca. 1910 and ca. 1920] Dayton, Ohio (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print)
Sun parlor in tubercular hospital. [between ca. 1910 and ca. 1920] Dayton, Ohio (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print)
Protect her from tuberculosis Consultation of your doctor or clinic means prevention. WPA Federal Art Project, [between 1936 and 1938]
Protect her from tuberculosis Consultation of your doctor or clinic means prevention. WPA Federal Art Project, [between 1936 and 1938]
[Tubercular child seated on bed, outdoors, at Sea Breeze Hospital, Coney Island, New York] [between 1900 and 1920]
[Tubercular child seated on bed, outdoors, at Sea Breeze Hospital, Coney Island, New York] [between 1900 and 1920]
Photos: Library of Congress

A Global Update on Tuberculosis on World TB Day

Today marks World TB Day, a day that has been celebrated since 1982 to remember those who have succumbed to the disease, celebrate the achievements met to lower TB rates, and resolve to do more to treat those who have tuberculosis.

Secretary-General & Mrs. Ban visit TB patients at the Institute of Respiratory Medicine to commemorate the World Tuberculosis Day in Malaysia along with the Minister of Health.
Secretary-General & Mrs. Ban visit TB patients at the Institute of Respiratory Medicine to commemorate the World Tuberculosis Day in Malaysia along with the Minister of Health.

According to the Stop TB Partnership 1.5 million people die every year from tuberculosis. That number is down sharply 41% since 1990. The leading co-infection with HIV, tuberculosis remains a difficult disease to treat because of the many strains of multi-drug resistant TB that primarily plagues the developing world.

This week, leading up to World TB Day, leaders met in Swaziland to sign the Swaziland Statement (PDF) reaffirming the region’s commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of cutting the TB mortality rate by 50% by 2015. Africa is the only WHO region that is not on track to meet the TB MDG. In fact, in 2011 600,000 people died from TB in Africa accounting for 40% of the world’s toll. According to the Stop TB Partnership, Africa has overtaken Asia as the world’s leader in TB cases.

Over $120 million dollars was pledged to jump-start the initiative to render TB under control in Africa. The Global Fund to treat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria pledged $102 million to the effort with additional funding coming from the UK government, the International Organization for Migration, and the Stop TB Partnership. There are now 1000 days before the MDGs expire. Participants who signed the Swaziland Statement are confident that the goal can be reached in Africa.

“The UN has given us a mandate that we have to achieve by 2015,” said King Mwatsi III of Swaziland as he welcomed the delegation. “When 2015 comes, will we be able to say that we have met the challenges set?”

Globally, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) affects 630,000 people. MDR-TB is extremely hard and expensive to treat. And the treatment regime is hard for patients because of its level of toxicity that causes nausea and abdominal pain.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan stressed that while curing MDR-TB is feasible, it takes 20 to 24 months of treatment with expensive and toxic drugs, some of which need to be administered by injection and some of which are in short supply.

“Despite recent success in shrinking the epidemic, the global TB burden remains enormous. MDR-TB has been detected in virtually every country that has looked for it,” Ms. Chan told a press briefing in Geneva on Thursday. (Source)

The $1.6 Billion Funding Challenge

According to the WHO and the Global Fund there is a $1.6 billion shortfall in TB funding which is mainly needed to diagnose and treat MDR-TB. Another $1.3 billion is needed every year for TB research.

We have a choice: we can invest now or we can pay forever.Global Fund

[NEW] EXPOSED the Race Against Tuberculosis from AERAS

EXPOSED is a four-part series of short films that tell the story of the deadly global epidemic of tuberculosis. The series focuses on current efforts to halt this airborne disease, which is growing more difficult to address, as well as the urgent movement to develop new tools to prevent it.

Aeras is a nonprofit biotech organization that advances new TB vaccines for the world.

EXPOSED: The Race Against Tuberculosis (Official Trailer) from Aeras on Vimeo.

[March 25 – 27] TB Vaccines Third Global Forum 

#TBVaccines

Tomorrow starts the third global forum addressing TB Vaccines. Held in Cape Town, South Africa you can follow the activity at #TBVaccines. The forum participants will discuss everything from creativity in research and discovery to advocacy and resource mobilization. Visit the forum site at www.tbvaccines2013.org.

Keep up with global tuberculosis news on TheGlobalFund.org, WHO.int, and GatesFoundation.org.

Photos: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe