ASIA/INDIA - Every day a thousand people die of tuberculosis: every second a person is infected worldwide

Ranchi (Agenzia Fides) - A third of the world’s population is currently infected with tbc and every second and a person in the world is infected. Only in 2009 1.7 million people died of tuberculosis, about 4700 deaths a day, including 380 000 HIV positive, because of their weak immune system they are the victims most at risk. It is a disease mainly due to poverty and mainly affects younger adults, in their reproductive age. According to the World Health Organization, more than half of the deaths are recorded in Asia, while in the Americas it is the second leading cause of death after HIV and AIDS. It is a global pandemic which in 2009 caused 9.4 million new cases, 80% in 22 countries. Of the 15 countries with the highest incidence rates, 13 are in Africa, one third of new cases in China and India.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reports that in America, 270 thousand people, including 44 000 children become infected, and about 23 000 die every year. Most cases are reported in Haiti, Suriname, Bolivia, Guyana and Peru (between 106 and 230 per 100 000 persons in 2010), while Brazil has the highest number of infections (85 thousand in 2010). Canada, Cuba and the United States have lower rates, with less than 10 per 100 000 persons. In India, the State of Jharkhand, where the population lives in extreme poverty, tbc and malaria are the most common diseases. Here the NGO Manav Vikas, a local member of the Catholic NGO Manos Unidas, has initiated a project for the prevention and fight against both diseases involving the most remote areas of the State, promoting immunization programs for children and to raise awareness among adults on health issues. The NGO has been engaged in the area of the Diocese of Hazaribag since 1994. The goal is to reduce the incidence of both infections in 30 selected villages and increase awareness of the pandemic among people. Thanks to this project it will be possible to have access to health services through a mobile clinic that will visit 30 villages. The project will involve 33 000 people directly and a further 60 000 indirectly. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 27/3/2012)

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