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factsheet ■ An estimated 2 million deaths

occur each year – that’s one every 15 seconds ■ TB is a worldwide pandemic.

Overall one third of the world’s population is currently infected with TB ■ Every second someone in the

Tuberculosis Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic and infectious disease which is spread by coughing and sneezing. It thrives in areas of overcrowding and poverty, where the conditions are ideal for transmitting the disease to others – close and cramped living quarters with poor sanitation. People dying of TB are literally ‘consumed’ by the disease, which is why it was known as ‘consumption’ in the past. Left untreated, people with TB become feverish, exhausted and emaciated to the point where they resemble a skeleton. As their lungs are destroyed, those with TB die of asphyxiation, or virtually drown in their own blood.

world is newly infected with TB ■ One in 10 people infected

with the TB bacilli will become sick with active TB in their lifetime ■ Some 9 million new cases

occur annually ■ Left untreated, each person

with active TB will infect, on average, 10-15 other people each year ■ TB is now the leading

infectious killer of adults, and has become the principal killer of those who are HIV-positive ■ TB has become a large burden

on developing economies, killing or disabling millions of people in their most economically productive years ■ The estimated incidence per

capita in sub-Saharan Africa is nearly twice that of South-East Asia at 250 cases per 100,000 population ■ TB will kill 25-30 million people

in this decade alone

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BUT TB CAN BE CURED! The new ‘DOTS Strategy’ (Directly Observed Treatment short-course) uses 4 different drugs to kill the TB bacilli within 6-8 months. The World Health Organisation recently said: “We are all at risk….the world is becoming smaller and TB is becoming stronger. While international travel has increased dramatically, the world has been slow to realise the implications. Poor TB treatment practices of other countries are a threat to their own citizens”. By supporting the work of LEPRA you can help us to make sure that although TB has a past and a present, it will not have a future.

LEPRA 28 Middleborough, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TG 01206 216700 Registered charity no. 213251

HOW LEPRA HELPS FIGHT THE TRAGEDY OF TB LEPRA’s TB programmes across the world include the following activities: ■

Providing treatment through medication

Recruiting and training volunteers known as ‘DOTS providers’ who ensure that courses of treatment are taken regularly and correctly completed

Providing and staffing microscopy centres which enable the early diagnosis of TB

Training government health staff on treatment and surveillance

Supporting those most in need with interest free loans and other social and economic rehabilitation services

Tuberculosis Fact Sheet  

Information about tuberculosis (TB) and LEPRA Health in Action's respose to this disease.

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