Sotgiu, Giovanni and Mauch, Verena and Migliori, Giovanni Battista and Benedetti, Andrea (2014) Evidence-based, agreed-upon health priorities to remedy the tuberculosis patient's economic disaster. European Respiratory Journal, Vol. 43 (6), p. 1563-1566. ISSN 0903-1936. eISSN 1399-3003. Article.
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Recently, numerous countries have suffered the impact of the worldwide financial crisis. Major economic problems have been faced by low and middle income countries; however, even some European Union nations (such as Greece, Spain and Italy) are experiencing the effects of the global crisis.
Several experts have noted the limited economic resources focused by governments, and international governmental and non-governmental organisations on health systems: dramatic funding reductions for numerous acute and chronic diseases, inability to improve healthcare organisations, incapability to replace personnel leaving their jobs (e.g. migration to a richer country or retirement), and inability to transfer new diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive approaches to daily routine clinical and public health activities. The most relevant outcome of this scenario is the increased burden of some diseases (inaccurate diagnosis and/or therapy and/or prevention). The highest risk of a difficult-to-recover picture is associated with increased probability of transmission of infectious diseases.
At this point in time it is crucial to develop a strategy of health priorities based on accurately evaluated epidemiological and financial burdens of the most important diseases.
Tuberculosis (TB), one of the main global health priorities with about 9 million estimated new cases and
2 million deaths, together with HIV/AIDS and malaria, creates major economic problems in high burden
countries and among affected communities. Several studies, as well as systematic reviews and metaanalyses, have been carried out on the healthcare burden of TB, including more severe forms of TB such as multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are finalising the latest version of the new post-2015 TB control and elimination strategy, which will be discussed at the World Health Assembly in May 2014. With the vision of leaving a TB-free world to future generations (zero deaths, diseases and TB-related suffering) and the goal of putting an end to the global TB epidemic, the new WHO strategy has ambitious targets for 2035: 1) a 95% reduction in TB deaths (compared with 2015); 2) a 90% reduction in TB incidence rate (lt;10 TB cases per 100 000 population); and 3) that no affected families face catastrophic costs due to TB [etc.].
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