Lung health beyond 2015: Can we win the war against TB-HIV co infection?

Diana Esther Wangari, CNS Correspondent, Kenya
(First published in The Star, on August 26, 2015)
Photo credit: CNS
 A few months ago, I remember watching a world marathon where one of the top runners got a muscle cramp and he suddenly stopped for a fraction of a second, only to continue on at a much slower pace. If you have watched any marathon or a race before, you will know how a lapse of millisecond often makes a large difference. Naturally, the runner fell behind and as he hopped on - in what must have been obvious pain judging from his facial expression - I began wondering what kept him going? After all, there was no chance of him crossing the finish line first and at that pace, it would certainly be a miracle if he made it among the top five.

Empower community to end TB: In them lies the solution!

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo credit: Shobha S/ CNS
Recently a TB partners and civil society organizations (CSOs) consultation meet was held in Delhi for ‘Spearheading Civil Society Action Towards a TB Free India’, with a view to align campaign objectives and goals with partners by sharing solutions and discussing way forward on existing gaps or challenges in implementing the Call to Action (C2A) for a TB-Free India.

TB-diabetes co-morbidity: A two headed monster

Dr Richa Sharma, CNS Correspondent, India
Photo credit: CNS:
The ever-increasing figures of people affected individually with TB or diabetes have been giving nightmares to health care professionals all over the world. So one can imagine the stupefying scenario when these two diseases start appearing together as co-infections. It is likely that diabetes may soon surpass HIV as the most important risk factor for TB, if the looming co-epidemic of TB and diabetes is not dealt with properly.

Laws must protect constitutional rights of people

Avantika Chaturvedi, CNS Correspondent, India
Photo credit: CNS:
The UN declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, religion, political or other opinion, national  or social origin, property, birth status. But unfortunately sometimes the laws of a country prove to be counter productive, more so in the case of sexual minorities like MSM and transgenders.

Handling TB beyond 2015

Catherine Mwauyakufa, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
Photo credit: CNS:
In Zimbabwe the majority of hospital admissions are due to lung diseases. A large proportion of them (around 60%) have a compromised immunity system together with TB. Lung diseases are treated with concern and there are follow-up mechanisms from the health care providers if one is diagnosed with TB. TB management is done at public health care institutions free of cost and even patients from the private doctors and private health care facilities are referred to government hospitals for proper care.

TB-Diabetes: A deadly marriage

Pretty Chavango, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
Photo credit: CNS:
Lung diseases are one of the most common medical conditions in the world. Millions of people suffer from lung complications that may cause diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, TB and lung cancer, among others. Smoking, air pollution and life style changes further exacerbate the problems, more so if they result in a deadly combination of communicable and non communicable diseases.

People unaware about TB-diabetes link

Zehru Nissa, Jammu and Kashmir
Photo credit: CNS: citizen-news
(First published in Greater Kashmir, India on August 3, 2015) 
Doctors have expressed concern at the low levels of awareness regarding the link between TB and diabetes in Kashmir and have demanded that more efforts should be put for better detection and management of diabetes in the state.

Only people who went to government schools should be able to contest elections and apply for government jobs

Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and CNS Columnist
Photo credit: CNS
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia’s well known slogan was that children of President of the country and an attendant should study in the same school. Socialist Party (India) has always advocated for common school system and the concept of neighbourhood school, recommendations of Kothari Commission since 1968. Socialist Party (India) has been intensively running a campaign for the last two years demanding that it should be made compulsory for the children of people receiving salaries from government and all people’s representatives from Panchayat members to Prime Minister to go to government schools. So, it was a welcome surprise on 18 August, 2015 when the Allahabad HC a judgement to this effect.

[Register] Webinar for media: What do new research results mean for people with TB-HIV?

[Webinar recording] We welcome you to register for an exclusive media webinar, on: 'What do new research results mean for people with TB-HIV?' Get connected with noted experts from lead agencies such as the NIH Clinical Trial Site investigators (Chennai), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Global Tuberculosis Programme, who will present and respond to questions live!

Children of government officials, people's representatives must study in goverment schools

Photo credit: Jittima J/ CNS
[हिंदी] Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and Vice President of Socialist Party (India) welcomed the Allahabad High Court order of 18th August 2015, which took a serious note of the pathetic condition of primary schools in the state and directed the UP State's Chief Secretary to ensure that children/ wards of government officials/ servants, those serving in the local bodies, representatives of people and judiciary, etc., send their wards to government schools.

Do not forget the children in the post 2015 agenda for health

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service – CNS 
Photo credit: CNS:
The vision for the post-2015 global End TB strategy for TB prevention, care and control is ‘a world free of TB’. The strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95% and to cut new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035. This will require the current average annual decline of 2% in global TB incidence rates to accelerate to 10% per year by 2025.

'My top priority would be for ensuring evidence informs health policy', says new ICMR head

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Dr Soumya Swaminathan
Photo credit: CNS/ 2014
Dr Soumya Swaminathan has recently been appointed as Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Earlier she has served as Director, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis in Chennai from 2008 till 2015. 

Two days ago she spoke with Citizen News Service (CNS) about her priorities for accelerating progress towards a TB free India, as well as in the field of medical research.

Paediatric TB: 2015 and beyond

Owen Nyaka, CNS Correspondent, Malawi 
Photo credit: CNS:
The countdown is on. The clock is ticking and we are running out of time yet. Once the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire this year we will be addressing lung health in the perspective of post 2015 Sustainable Development Framework. Upon realising that public demand and political commitment remains inadequate on lung health and that TB is a significant cause of illness and death among children, Citizen News Services (CNS) organised a webinar for media on lung health beyond 2015.

Myanmar's dual public health challenge: TB and Diabetes

Lwin Lwin Thant, CNS Correspondent, Myanmar
Photo credit: CNS:
Diabetes Mellitus (DM), a chronic disease, is not only increasing globally but is also associated with higher risks of TB and adversely impacts the outcomes of TB treatment. Like other developing countries, Myanmar too faces the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, due to the socio-economic transition that occurred in recent times.

TB and diabetes co-morbidity is a public health challenge in Nepal

Photo credit: CNS:
Chhatra Karki, CNS Correspondent, Nepal
Three years ago, Hitesh Chhetri (name changed), a resident of Nuwakot, Nepal and truck driver by profession, was diagnosed with diabetes. He then consulted a doctor and started taking medicines. Being the sole bread winner of his family Hitesh was struggling economically. Yielding to economic burden, he worked even though he was on medicines.

Menstruation is a natural sign of health, not an 'incident' to be shamed!

Shobha Shukla, Citizen News Service - CNS
Photo credit: CNS:
[हिंदी] UP State Health Department data shows that 28 lakh adolescent girls in UP miss school because of menstruation. Poor menstrual hygiene leads to infections, inflammations, menstrual cramps and vaginal discharges – which often pushes these girls into the trap of faith healers and quacks. Menstruation is a natural sign of health for a young girl or woman, and not an 'incident' for which we should feel shamed or scared or terrified!

Young Voices: Prabhjyot Kaur speaks on 'Young people and HIV and TB'

Coordinated and inter-sectoral response is a must to end TB

Clarity Sibanda, CNS Correspondent, Zimbabwe
Photo credit: CNS:
A call has been made for governments to act for the prevention of TB-diabetes, a public health challenge that will become more serious unless action is taken now to prevent it in the quest to meet one of the 2015 sustainable development goals which aims to end the TB epidemic by 2030. Paul Jensen, Senior Advisor (Policy) of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) said in a webinar organized by Citizen News Service (CNS) that a large proportion of people with diabetes and TB are either not diagnosed, or diagnosed too late.

Lung health beyond 2015: Is there a future?

Alice Tembe, CNS Correspondent, Swaziland
Photo credit: CNS:
As we usher in a new era for public health and social equity response globally, it is equally essential to look back and learn from the successes and failures encountered in the path that has been travelled so far, in order to enhance the strategies that worked, conclude targets that were achieved and rethink about methods that failed. Mr. Sibusiso Phungwayo (name changed), a teacher who is living with HIV and is a survivor of Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), said that, “I knew I would live with HIV, but my worst fear was surviving TB.