The grim news is that tuberculosis cases are up 25% in the first year of pandemic. This was predicted by people who could see how dangerous the diversion of resources to Covid-19 would be.
It was so obvious that I mentioned the risk of a rise in TB in a May journal last year. ‘The curse of tuberculosis is that it’s thought to be a disease of the poor’ I wrote.
I added that ‘We’ll stop Covid or lie as if we have because we mismanaged it and it’s killing people who aren’t so poor.’
I admit I was wrong. Public health officials were right to prioritise Covid over TB because 2019-nCoV has killed more people than TB this year. Don’t get me wrong, the authorities mismanaged Covid pretty much everywhere and there never needed to be 2.8 million deaths. I’m only saying I was wrong because I had begun to believe that the authorities had woken up to the threat that Covid posed. So they were right to prioritise Covid but so wrong in other details that second and third waves slaughtered hundreds of thousands that did not need to die.
I’m not a public health official nor qualified to express such opinions. But someone has to say something when the people who are qualified are not allowed to act. The world is run by politicians who are not qualified to occupy their offices. Indeed, some would argue that many powerful politicians are themselves ‘run’ by interests whose purview isn’t known to the public. The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty on BBC was quite interesting from that perspective.
There is some recent good news on TB from Medecins Sans Frontieres. There may be a new treatment for patients with drug resistant forms of TB. This matters because it would it would treat previously untreatable patients and help suppress transmission. The numbers a staggering. 500,000 people are diagnosed annually with drug resistant forms of TB. And while 4000 people die every day from TB (5000 during the pandemic), global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000.
World TB Day is March 24th. Wikpedia says ‘It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing to a small group of scientists at the University of Berlin’s Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus.’
‘… always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.’
– Jim by Hilaire Belloc