Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Consider these facts regarding tuberculosis:

1. Tuberculosis kills 2,000,000 people each year around the world. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death from a curable infectious disease.

2. The incidence rate is highest among young men.

3. The incidence of tuberculosis in the United States was 4.6/100,000 people in 2006.

4. The incidence of tuberculosis in Haiti was 306/100,000 people. 6,000 Haitians die from tuberculosis each year. Haiti's incidence of tuberculosis rivals Africa, which has the highest incidence in the world.

5. Haiti is 90 minutes (by air) from the richest and most powerful nation in the history of man.

"The history of tuberculosis is one of scientific, medical, and political failure. Although modern short-course treatment for tuberculosis is among the most effective and inexpensive of treatments for life threatening diseases, tuberculosis remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide."

"Turning the Tide Against Tuberculosis"--Lancet 2006; 367:877-878


regalo1225 said...

And because of our "scientific, medical, and political failure," we have now created a new scourge for the poor in MDR and XDR strains. As I'm sure you know, XDR-TB has been found in 28 countries, including all G8, but it's worst around South Africa. That we have a disease for which treatment has been available for decades, and that through our negligence in treating this disease properly, we have contributed to development of currently almost untreatable strains--all just baffles and infuriates.

It's sickening that up until several years ago, even the WHO didn't deem treating MDR-TB in poor patients "cost-effective." Who has the right to put a return value on a life? Poor people weren't worth the couple thousand dollars it cost for treatment then. We could argue they still aren't considered worth that much by the money-lenders. Yet no one would question the "cost-effectiveness" of paying I don't even want to admit how much money to give me a college education.


Pat Erickson said...

I found this blog and was glad to see someone else jumping up and down about the travesty in Haiti and on the entire island of Hispanola.