World Health Organisation says TB-HIV actions saves nearly one million lives

New global health impact figures released March 2, 2012 by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate 910,000 lives have been saved by improving collaboration between tuberculosis and HIV services.

As a result, the UN Radio reports that the WHO has launched an updated global policy for joint prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB and HIV.

The main elements of the new policy, according to the report, include routine HIV testing for TB patients, people with symptoms of TB, and their partners or family members; and starting all TB patients with HIV on antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible, regardless of immune system measurements and the provision of co-trimoxazole.

Tuberculosis is said to be a leading killer of people living with HIV.

Dr. Mario Raviglione, Director of the ‘Stop TB Department’ at WHO told the UN Radio that “I think this is quite extraordinary because saving, you know you can claim that this intervention saved nearly one million lives. So, on the basis of all of this experience we decided it was time to go from this first interim recommendation to a better set or a final set of recommendation that should last until we have new interventions.”

By Ekow Quandzie

Listen to Dr. Mario Raviglione on UN Radio

[audio:http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/c-WHO-TB-HIV.mp3]

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