Citizens for Justice and Peace

Eliminating poverty could lead to significant decrease in tuberculosis cases: Study

28, Mar 2018 | CJP Team

According to a study published in Lancet Global Health, eliminating extreme poverty would result in an 84% decrease in tuberculosis cases by the year 2035, the Guardian reported. Nine policymakers and scientists conducted research regarding the prevalence of tuberculosis in 192 countries. They considered connections between those living on less than $1.90 per day and the extent to which social schemes offer coverage in every country. Tying this to existing tuberculosis prevalence, they extrapolated the connections over 20 years. The link between poverty and tuberculosis has already been made clear, since over 95% of tuberculosis deaths take place in middle and low-income nations. Daniel Carter, the study’s co-author and a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine emphasised the study’s significance in indicating the “great impact” that “preventative measures” have. “We tend to only engage with TB patients when they are already ill, but this is not enough to eliminate TB. Poverty reduction could be just as effective in tackling the disease as drugs and vaccines,” he said. Carter highlighted a programme in Brazil that disperses money to eligible families provided their children are in school and vaccinated; a study found that it could better treatment results for the disease by 10%. Carter said such schemes “could potentially lift vulnerable individuals far enough out of poverty that they never contract TB in the first place”. In 2016, 10.4 million contracted tuberculosis, and an additional 1.7 million died from it. It is one of the top ten causes of death globally. 


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