Tuberculosis refers to an airborne infectious ailment caused by mycobacterial strains. The disease affects nearly a third of the world population, the majority being children and women. Every year, hospitals globally report more than 9 million cases of new infections. Despite TB being treatable and preventable, it is interesting that it causes millions of fatalities each year. TB patients exhibit symptoms such as sneezes, spits, or coughs (Ngadaya et al., 2012). During these episodes, an ailing individual propels TB virus into the air, and healthy people can inhale the bacteria that exists initially in the saliva droplets. The healthcare institutions in the developing world cannot win the fight against TB unless they educate the public on the preventive measures and its causes.
During the TB’s early stages, the victims can react to it in three ways. First, their immune system can fight off and successfully kill the bacteria before it spreads. Second, the immune system may not be strong enough to launch an effective fight but can build a defensive wall against it. In pregnant women and children, their immune system is often not as strong as that of healthy men. Therefore, if they are infected, their TB become asymptomatic and can reactivate a year later after a period of dormancy in the lungs. Particularly, this disease resurfaces in immunocompromised persons with HIV/AIDS or malaria (Gounder & Chaisson, 2012). At last, the immune system can fail completely and result in uncompromised bacterial growth and spread to other body parts.
In a fight against TB, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends an introduction of a vaccination program in countries where the disease is most prevalent. For instance, in Africa, pregnant women and children under the age of 5 years can receive a universal BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccination. The medication bears weakened TB bacterium that induces human antibodies to fight against it. BCG is up to 84% effective because of the vaccine quality and the exposure frequency. The indication of its efficacy also depends on the recipient’s age, geographical location, and diet.
Further, TB treatment entails a chemotherapeutic session using a combination of drugs such as rifampicin, ethambutol, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide. If the patient is unresponsive because of bacterial resistance, the doctor can introduce para-aminosalicylate, cycloserine, and ethionamide (Getahun et al., 2013). However, these second line of drugs is mostly non-recommendable for advanced stages of TB given the serious side effects and less potency in large doses.
It is important for global organizations such as WHO (World Health Organization) and other NGOs to provide global leadership in addressing resurgent cases of TB among women and children. To achieve this goal, they have to collaborate with local government in developing evidence-based strategies, standards, and policies to prevent and control the disease (Tiam et al., 2014). Moreover, they should monitor the control process and implementation of the set plans. In particular, the developed countries should provide technical support to the third world States to build a sustainable healthcare capacity and to catalyze change. Specifically, the World Health organization must monitor maternal and child health regarding their vulnerability to TB. In fact, the organization ought to measure the progress of TB care finances and control.
In summary, tuberculosis hurts family welfare and child survival. In the developing world, socio-economic factors such as poverty, limited educational opportunities, and low social status accelerate the spread of TB as a deadly disease. If the respective government Africa, Asia, and South America collaborate with NGOs and WHO, TV vaccination programs can limit and contain the TB lethality.
- Getahun, H., Sculier, D., Sismanidis, C., Grzemska, M., & Raviglione, M. (2013). Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Tuberculosis in Children and Mothers: Evidence for Action for Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Services.’Journal of Infectious Diseases, jis009.
- Gounder, C. R., & Chaisson, R. E. (2012). A Diagonal Approach to Building Primary Healthcare Systems in Resource-Limited Settings: Women-Centred Integration of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, MCH and NCD Initiatives. Tropical Medicine & International Health,’17(12), 1426-1431.
- Ngadaya, E. S., Mfinanga, G. S., Wandwalo, E. R., & Morkve, O. (2012). Pulmonary Tuberculosis among Women with Cough attending Clinics for Family Planning and Maternal and Child Health in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.’BMC Public Health,’9(1), 1.
- Tiam, A., Machekano, R., Gounder, C. R., Maama-Maime, L. B., Ntene-Sealiete, K., Sahu, M., & Barnes, G. L. (2014). Preventing Tuberculosis among HIV-Infected Pregnant Women in Lesotho: The Case for Rolling Out Active Case Finding and Isoniazid Preventive Therapy.’JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes,’67(1), e5-e11.