AFRICA/MALI-Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death in the country

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - Although there is free medical care available to the people of Mali, tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death in the country. The disease, linked with poverty and HIV could be controlled simply by changing habits. According to a survey by World Health Organization, in 2009-2010 the prevalence was 142 cases per 1,000 residents. In 2009, 6,840 cases were registered, including 5,163 highly contagious pulmonary tuberculosis. The vaccines administered to infants seem to be ineffective for prevention. In Mali it is possible to perform bacteriological analysis even in community health centers in rural areas. To diagnose tuberculosis, a bacteriological examination of the patient’s sputum must be carried out. If the disease is positive, the patient receives free treatment for six months. However, for people living in this area it is seen as a terrible and incurable disease. Infected people are marginalized. The awareness campaigns could be of great help to correct the habits that facilitate the spread of dangerous bacteria. If an infected person does not receive proper care within a month, there is a risk of infecting other 10 people. To strengthen national programs a strong political will is needed. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 08/09/2011)