About Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. Left untreated a TB-positive patient can infect other people and will most likely die.

why we need to fight tuberculosis

Number of new TB infections in 2015

10400000

People missed by global health systems

4000000

Number of people who died from TB in 2016

1800000

WHAT IS TUBERCULOSIS

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that most often affects the lungs. The WHO estimates that one-third of the world population is infected with TB. While TB is latent in most people who never develop symptoms, the bacteria become active when the immune system is weakened, causing harmful symptoms and likely death. Common symptoms of active TB are coughing with blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

Stories: Sharifa

During her pregnancy with Ramadhani, Sharifa fell sick with an unknown illness that the clinics couldn't diagnose. Until the HeroRATs came to her rescue.

Read story

GLOBAL TUBERCULOSIS

The WHO has listed 30 countries with a “High TB-Burden” including Tanzania and Mozambique where APOPO already operates. In many countries, the conventional method of diagnosing tuberculosis is inadequate resulting in a poor rate of TB decline. Read more about global tuberculosis (link to 33b).

50% INCORRECTLY DIAGNOSED

In most sub-Saharan African countries, only about half of the patients with active tuberculosis are diagnosed due to the slow speeds of conventional diagnostic methods, underfunding of clinics and lack of trained staff. For the African continent, only 48% of all positive TB-positive patients at clinic were correctly diagnosed in 2014.

FOUR MILLION MISSED

Poor health care and access to health facilities prevent or delay TB diagnosis among infected populations.  In turn, the lack of fast and accurate diagnosis delays treatment and facilitates the disease progression and transmission to patients’ family and community. Up to 4 million people who have difficulty accessing effective public health services, are left undiagnosed or missed every year and do not get TB treatment, leading to the death of up to two-thirds of patients with active tuberculosis.

HOW APOPO FIGHTS TUBERCULOSIS

Due to their unique speed and sensitivity, the HeroRATs, when combined with conventional tuberculosis diagnostics, are proven to increase detection rates of public clinics by over 40%. This means more TB-positive people who have been missed by clinics, receive life saving treatment before they can infect others and prolong the tuberculosis vicious cycle.

EASY TO TREAT

Tuberculosis is a disease that is relatively easy to treat. Most patients can be cured through medication and they recover after a standard six-month course of four antimicrobial drugs that are supplied with information, supervision and support by a health worker or trained volunteer. But if not treated properly or at early stage, tuberculosis can have a devastating impact on a person’s health and likely lead to death as well as putting others at risk.