oa CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Drug-resistant tuberculosis : more about... pulmonology

Volume 31, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



The epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a public health emergency that threatens to destabilise global TB control. Although TB incidence and mortality are decreasing in several parts of the world, the overall prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is increasing in many high-burden countries, particularly in Africa. World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that almost half a million new cases of MDR-TB develop every year, of which approximately 40 000 (in more than 80 countries) are thought to be extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) (Fig. 1). Limited laboratory capacity and lack of widespread drug susceptibility in resource-poor settings mean that only a fraction of that number are correctly diagnosed and started on treatment.

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