March 24, 2016

This World TB Day, tuberculosis is still a global threat

By Dr. J. Phillip Gingrey

District Policy Group Senior Advisor and former Congressman Dr. J. Phillip Gingrey urged others to act now against one of the world’s oldest diseases in an article for The Hill titled, “This World TB Day, tuberculosis is still a global threat.”

March 24 is World TB day. Tuberculosis is among the most deadly diseases in the world and kills roughly one person every 21 seconds according to the World Health Organization (WHO), including Dr. Gingrey’s own uncle who died at 34 years old.  

While most infants receive the moderately effective TB vaccine, the vaccine does not protect teens or adults. The threat of TB is particularly deadly for American service men and women who are often stationed in areas of the world with high rates of TB diseases, including those categorized as multi-drug resistant (MDR) or extensively drug resistant (XDR).  

Treatment for TB is at least six months long and costs an average of $17,000-430,000 to treat and care for a single patient in the U.S. Dr. Gingrey encourages a global effort to combat the disease and invest more in research and development to accurately diagnose, treat, and find a vaccine.

“A single country, government or institution cannot do this alone. We need to unite as a global community to encourage policymakers and funders to make TB a priority and devote more funding to vaccine technologies and treatments.”

“Tuberculosis is one of humanity's oldest diseases. We shouldn't leave this to future generations to solve when we can take action now.”

Read: “This World TB Day, tuberculosis is still a global threat.”

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