“Nobody inEuropeis 100 per cent protected from drug-resistant tuberculosis,” said Ogtay Gozalov, a medical officer at the World Health Organization. He described the disease’s spread inEuropeas “alarming” and said previous measures to contain the outbreak were inadequate.
WHO have released a new plan to fight the disease across Europe that aims to diagnose 85 per cent of all patients and to treat at least 75 per cent of them by the end of 2015. Only about 32 per cent of patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis inWestern Europeare properly treated; many stop taking their medicines before the treatment course is up, allowing the bug to develop resistance.
According to WHO, the nine countries with the world’s highest rates of drug resistance in new tuberculosis patients are in Europe, including Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
The agency’s plan will cost $5 billion and is intended to save about 120,000 lives and $12 billion worth of diagnosis and treatment expenses by 2015.
From the people perspective, low awareness of the disease among health workers, also allows it to spread.