The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) says one in five people infected with tuberculosis in the Americas, including the Caribbean, remains unaware of the disease.
PAHO said this is due to “failure to access health services or because they are not properly diagnosed.” In 2012, PAHO said regional countries reported 220,000 cases of tuberculosis, and an estimated 19,000 people died from the disease.
But it said an additional 60,000 people are believed to have TB, who have not yet been diagnosed.
“This situation not only endangers their lives, it also facilitates further transmission of TB, producing more disease and generating socioeconomic costs for individuals, families and communities,” PAHO warned.
It issued the statement in commemoration of World TB Day that sought to raise awareness on the tuberculosis burden in the world, as well as the efforts made for its prevention and control.
Throughout the years, PAHO said this commemoration has offered the opportunity to mobilize the political, economic and social commitment for the prevention and control of TB in the countries.
For the 2014 campaign, PAHO said it will follow the worldwide focus on TB diagnosis and case detection of those still not reached, “with emphasis in the Americas on vulnerable populations, social determinants and large cities.”
Source; National news agency of Bernama