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Letter: More help needed to end historic scourge of TB
To the editor;
An increasing number of individuals are reporting to hospitals with a new infectious terror: total drug resistant TB. There is no cure, no effective treatment. It is estimated that those with the disease infect up to 20 others a year.
TB is a historical scourge that is cheaply cured with modern antibiotics. But health care in the developing world is fragmentary and underfunded, and this has allowed the evolution of drug resistance strains, this total drug resistant version the latest to emerge.
TB is enormously infectious and once drug resistant strains are brought to Canada, there is little hope for those a carrier comes in contact with. Infectious, lethal diseases know no boundaries in this connected world of ours. HIV started in Africa and spread death and misery across the globe.
This year the Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB, and Malaria is slated for replenishment, requiring $15 billion to reach its goal of treating 80 per cent of the world’s tuberculosis sufferers. Canada’s share would be $750 million spread over three years. We can spend the money now and prevent the next infectious plague, or wait until it’s too late and the cost much, much higher.