Brazil: Ministry of Health launches national plan to eradicate tuberculosis by 2035

The Ministry of Health (MoH) launched a national plan to reduce the incidence and eradicate tuberculosis in the country. Currently, the disease has an incidence of 32.4 per 100,000 people in Brazil.

The aim of the plan is to reduce the incidence to 10 per 100,000 cases by 2035. This plan reaffirms the country’s commitment to the World Health Organization (WHO) and marks the World Tuberculosis Day, celebrated on 24th March. The plan defines the indicators to be monitored by states and municipalities in the health care network.

The objective of the plan is early diagnosis, continuous treatment and reducing abandonment before the recommended period. The national plan is divided into three pillars. First is integrated and patient-centered prevention and care, second is strong public policies and support system and third is strengthening of research and innovation.

Disease control will be made based on indicators such as detection, diagnosis, TB-HIV co-infection, completion of treatment and cases of latent, sensitive and drug-resistant tuberculosis. To raise public awareness about tuberculosis, the MoH is running campaigns.

The campaign emphasizes that responsibility for treatment should be shared by patient, health care team, family, and friends. In addition to people with HIV, lower income population who have difficulty in accessing health services are prone to tuberculosis.

According to the MoH, 9.7% of confirmed tuberculosis cases had HIV in 2015. In 2016, 66,700 new cases and 12,800 relapse cases were registered in Brazil. The mortality coefficient for tuberculosis reduced by 15.4%, from 2.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2006 to 2.2 per 100,000 in 2015. Brazil registered 4,500 deaths from tuberculosis in 2015. Incidence in Rio de Janeiro is 5 per 100,000 people and Pará is 2.6 per 100,000 people.

According to the WHO, tuberculosis was the leading cause of mortality globally in 2015 and may have killed more than 1.8 million people. Six countries accounted for 60% of all new cases in 2015 namely India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. In 2014, the Ministry of Health Rapid Test Network for Tuberculosis (RTR-TB), a diagnostic test which detects the presence of the bacillus causing the disease in two hours and identifies rifampicin resistance. For 2017, the MoH has planned to distribute 70 new equipments with the capacity to do 250,000 tests.

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