Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
The latest report from the ECDC (Stockholm, Sweden) and WHO has analysed the 2017 data for the European region, suggesting that despite an overall decline in the number of cases, TB remains a major public health challenge.
Of the 275,000 TB diagnoses and relapses in the region, an estimated 77,000 individuals are suffering with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Of these cases only 1,041 were reported in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries; however, most countries in the region struggle to successfully treat patients. For example, in 2017, only 45% of patients with MDR-TB were treated successfully and for extensively drug-resistant TB only 28% were reported as successfully treated.
Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, explained: ““TB is preventable and curable; the time to take action is now to end TB by 2030. If we don’t act rapidly and decisively, the drug-resistant forms of the disease will increase their hold on Europe.”