World Tuberculosis Day: Winning the war without nuclear weapons

World Tuberculosis Day: Winning the war without nuclear weapons

Hemoptysis, low-grade fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain… Tuberculosis, also known as “tuberculosis”, is a chronic infectious disease that seriously endangers public health. On the occasion of the 29th “World Tuberculosis Day” on March 24, 2024, medical experts called for shortening the clinical treatment cycle of tuberculosis, implementing a comprehensive tuberculosis elimination model, and accelerating the end of the tuberculosis epidemic.

Tuberculosis is dangerous

The incidence rate in my country has steadily declined

The “Global Tuberculosis Report 2023” released by the World Health Organization shows that there will be 10.6 million new tuberculosis patients worldwide in 2022, and the number of new tuberculosis patients in my country will be approximately 748,000. Tuberculosis not only threatens the physical health of patients, but also threatens public health security.

“Since 2001, the incidence and mortality of tuberculosis in China have declined steadily.” Zhao Yanlin, director of the Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the incidence of tuberculosis in China has dropped by 25%, a rate of decline that is more than twice the global average. Tuberculosis patients have been cured rate remains above 90%.

Behind the exciting figures is my country’s continued investment and advancement in tuberculosis prevention and control.

As of 2023, the total investment in tuberculosis prevention and control nationwide has increased nearly 20 times compared with 2001; the “diagnosis and treatment exemption policy” for pulmonary tuberculosis patients has been implemented, and first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs are provided free of charge to confirmed patients; pulmonary tuberculosis has been included in the management of special outpatient chronic diseases, with reference to Hospitalization management and payment… In recent years, China’s health and disease control departments have taken multiple measures to gradually improve the level of diagnosis and treatment guarantees and benefit the majority of tuberculosis patients.

Providing understanding, support and care to tuberculosis patients requires the participation of the whole society.

Over the past ten years, more than 1 million caring people in our country have participated in the “Hundreds and Thousands of Volunteers Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Knowledge Dissemination Activity”; we have promoted tuberculosis patient care actions and social mobilization actions, and distributed “patient care packages” to patients… the whole society Form a joint force of group defense and group control.

Winning the “Nuclear-Free” War

Effective healing is key

How to win this “nuclear-free” war?

Zhang Wenhong, director of the National Medical Center for Infectious Diseases and director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, believes that shortening the treatment cycle and effectively curing tuberculosis patients is an important response.

Experts said that various factors such as the slow onset of tuberculosis, low treatment compliance caused by long medication cycles, and drug resistance caused by drug withdrawal and relapse have become “stumbling blocks” to ending tuberculosis.

“Our team has conducted a number of studies on short-course treatment options for tuberculosis, shortening the previous 2-year treatment cycle for drug-resistant tuberculosis to 6 to 9 months, and shortening the treatment cycle for common tuberculosis to 4 months. We hope to explore Local solutions that are more accessible and more in line with the drug metabolism characteristics of Chinese people will speed up the elimination of tuberculosis,” Zhang Wenhong said.

In 2021, Guizhou Province launched the “Project to Promote the Elimination of the Hazards of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Guizhou Province”. Thanks to precise drug-resistant diagnosis technology, advanced training for medical personnel, pilot regional drug-resistant tuberculosis referral mechanisms, and charitable assistance, more than a hundred local drug-resistant tuberculosis The initial treatment success rate for drug-induced tuberculosis patients reaches 85.8%, which is much higher than the global level.

end the fad

Ask science for answers

Currently, multiple reasons have led to the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Globally, resistance to some new drugs has also emerged. How to solve the problem of tuberculosis drug resistance and the dilemma of drug development?

Ding Sheng, director of the Global Health Drug Research and Development Center, believes that accelerating the development of innovative anti-tuberculosis drugs is crucial.

“New drugs need to take into account many aspects of improvement, such as ease of use, low side effects, high patient compliance, and good target effects, etc.” Ding Sheng said that through in-depth cooperation with domestic and foreign drug research and development and medical institutions, Our center is rapidly advancing three tuberculosis drug research and development pipelines.

In 2023, the registered incidence rate of tuberculosis in Jiangsu Province was 22.8/100,000, making it one of the provinces with a low incidence rate of tuberculosis in my country. According to statistics, the success rate of treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis can reach more than 80%.

Zhu Limei, director of the Institute of Chronic Infectious Disease Prevention and Control of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that Jiangsu Province is exploring free screening, diagnosis, treatment and management of tuberculosis, and including second-line anti-tuberculosis drugs as free of charge. At the same time, new tools and methods for tuberculosis prevention and treatment are introduced, such as the introduction of artificial intelligence into the cloud imaging platform of medical institutions across the province, and the promotion of artificial intelligence-assisted film reading to help early detection of tuberculosis.

The World Health Organization calls on all parties to increase services, research and innovation related to tuberculosis prevention and treatment, and work together to end the tuberculosis epidemic by 2035. Martin Taylor, the World Health Organization representative in China, said that ending the tuberculosis epidemic is not only about improving population health, but also means reducing work stoppages and unemployment due to health problems, which will help improve health outcomes and save millions of lives around the world. .

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