March 24 is commemorated as World Tuberculosis Day, and on this day, there is an imminent need to enhance awareness among the people about this ailment, say experts. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
March 24 is commemorated as World Tuberculosis Day, and on this day, there is an imminent need to enhance awareness among the people about this ailment, say experts. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

World Tuberculosis Day: Masks must be made mandatory to control TB, say experts

By IANS, Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Mar 24, 2021

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Hyderabad - The Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to stop its spread indicate that transmission of infectious diseases can be prevented by using face masks, say experts.

This simple yet most effective means is best suited to stop a deadly ailment like tuberculosis from spreading.

Many healthcare experts are in favour of mandating or encouraging people to continue wearing of masks which could help in numerous ways beyond ending the current global healthcare crisis.

March 24 is commemorated as World Tuberculosis Day, and on this day, there is an imminent need to enhance awareness among the people about this ailment, say experts.

Tuberculosis is a social disease, caused due to overcrowding and malnutrition. This ailment disproportionately affects the financially marginalised sections of society, and the stigma associated with this disease lead to under-reporting and under-diagnosis.

In the absence of prevalence survey data, TB estimates are based on the reported numbers of people treated for TB, adjusted to take account of the estimated number of people who have TB but don’t access treatment, The Conversation reported.

According to SA’s tuberculosis (TB) prevalence survey, South Africa has a far higher number of people with TB than previously thought. And many people are living with TB who have not been diagnosed or treated.

Based on the new prevalence data, the WHO estimates that in 2019, 58 000 people died of TB in South Africa and 1.4 million people died from TB globally.

Highlighting the need for an early diagnosis, Dr Aditya Vadan, Consultant Pulmonologist, SLG Hospitals, pointed out that Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in time to ensure a cure.

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