World TB Day – 24 March

nosmokingTo coincide with World TB Day, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (the Union) has released the results of a study that shows tobacco smoking  doubles the risk of tuberculosis (TB) recurring.

The Union states that the Study is the most robust ever conducted into how smoking tobacco increases the risk of recurrent TB.  The Study involved a large sample of 5,567 patients who had successfully completed TB treatment.

An author of the Study, Dr Chung-Yeh Deng of National Yang-Ming University in Taipei explained:

More than ever before, we understand how tobacco harms people who have already been successfully treated for TB.  No one should undergo the long, complex treatment for TB only to unknowingly place themselves at heightened risk of getting the disease again. With this research we can inform national tobacco control policies and educate patients about the risks that smoking tobacco poses.


Tuberculosis: Lest we forget

Kopi from Goilala was 5 months old and was suffering from TB - His mother died of it.
Kopi from Goilala was 5 months old and was suffering from TB – His mother died of it.

I must admit, this year, World TB Day almost went by without me noticing – a grave oversight on my part as there’s every reason to keep the fight against TB in the headlines.

In 2012, 8.6 million people worldwide contracted the active form of the disease and 1.3 million died according to statistics provided by the Union.

PNG carries a disproportionate part of the burden.  In PNG the occurrence is epidemic – not only with drug sensitive TB but also with the emergence of the heinous and hard to treat drug resistant varieties.

To mark the day, I am providing a link to my own small study (pictorial essay) of the situation in Goilala.  I believe the situation hasn’t improved.  It was almost two years ago that it was filmed.


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