United States involvement in tuberculosis: Importance Of United States Involvement In Global Public Health Issues
Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes Tuberculosis. It is a bacterial infection approximating to about 9.6 million infected with active TB each year. About 1.5million people died from TB in 2014 although, it is treatable and curable. Concerns were raised in 1990s and 2000s on the rising outbreaks of TB/HIV co-infections (CDC, 2001). The emergence of resistance of TB drugs attracted the attention of global health sectors and governments to make efforts towards preventing and eliminating the spread of TB. World Health organization (WHO) has declared TB a worldwide health emergency resulting in reducing the numbers of mortality rates, prevalence, and incidences of TB. There are challenges to fighting TB and ending the epidemic.
Efforts of United States government (USG) towards fighting TB has improved since 1990s. USG has become the largest donor to control of TB through involvement in bilateral and multilateral activities. The president emergency plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003 considered it an opportunity to fight TB to present. The government offers guidance on diagnosis, control, treatment, and prevention of TB (three—5) (CDC, 2001). The government planned to adjust control measures that decline occurrence of TB, increase targeted testing and treatment of LTBI, and develop new tools for use in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Mobilization and sustenance of public support to eliminate TB and increasing resources at state, national, and local levels would solve problems of TB transmission and effective interventions. The government is involved in rebuilding TB-control infrastructure to target TB transmissions in healthcare facilities. Moreover, rebuilt infrastructure increases rates of completing TB therapy through innovative case-management strategies. Directly observed therapy (DOT) is increased among persons infected with TB.
U.S Government is involved in financially supporting elimination of TB in the country contributing to increased rates of people receiving diagnosis from 63% to 80%.TB prevalence reduced by 42%, while TB mortality fell by 47% (CDC, 2004). The US government is involved in controlling TB infections by fostering development of new drugs and therapies to treat TB. Moreover, it finances introduction of new tools to diagnose tuberculosis and anti-tuberculosis vaccine. It avails scientific, financial and technological resources required for use in efforts towards introducing TB vaccine (Geiter, 2000). U.S. government supports research projects dealing with Tuberculosis in developing countries targeting research questions relevant in areas with high incidences of tuberculosis infections. The U.S Government collaborates with research and development unit of WHO to define a global research strategy coordinated (CDC, 2001).
The government supports new diagnostic tests, new drugs, and effective vaccines against TB. The U.S government funds short courses on directly observed therapies, which is internationally recommended as a strategy for controlling TB and reducing related morbidity, transmission, and death. U.S. government is concerned with sustaining commitment financially and politically, using quality measures to diagnose through sputum-smear microscopy and a six-month course of treatment, conducted through direct supervision. It coordinates uninterrupted supply of drugs effectively and regularly (Geiter et al., 2003). It finances standard collection of data, monitors and evaluates outcomes. It scales up management and diagnosis of MBR and XDR-TB as well as addressing TB/HIV infection. It strengthens health systems and the capacity of workforce in health sectors in their response to TB.
The U.S. government has active goals of treating more than 13 million new positive sputum-smear tests for TB cases and maintains 90% success rates of treatment with among individuals having drug-susceptible TB. It is diagnosing and treating new MDR cases of TB and provides antiretroviral therapy to all people diagnosed to be HIV positive (Kaiser family foundation, 2016). In conclusion, the U.S government has released a national action plan involved in combating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis that identifies interventions and articulates strategies of responding to domestic and challenges of MDR-TB globally.