COVID-19, tuberculosis, and poverty: preventing a perfect storm

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be the defining global health crisis of our generation. As the United Nations Development Programme highlighted in their recent call to action, the impact of this pandemic will extend beyond the immediate medical consequences to have far-reaching and long-lasting social and economic impacts, threatening to disproportionately affect poorer people in poorer countries. Income losses are anticipated to exceed $220 billion in developing countries, where many people live day-to-day without access to social protection, and food security is precarious. Strikingly, a recent United Nations study suggests that the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic could increase the number of people living in poverty by as much as half a billion, with the majority of these newly poor people living in Africa, South-East Asia, and Central and South America It is no coincidence that the areas of the world predicted to be most affected by the social and economic consequences of COVID-19 are also the areas with the highest tuberculosis burden. This is because tuberculosis is a social as well as infectious disease – poorer, undernourished people living in densely populated areas are at higher risk of tuberculosis, and tuberculosis entrenches poverty by increasing costs, reducing income, and causing stigma and discrimination. Indeed, poverty is the key driver of the tuberculosis pandemic, with several studies demonstrating how tuberculosis incidence rates rise and fall in association with measures of socioeconomic development and social protection. COVID-19 and tuberculosis diagnosis The COVID-19 pandemic is also likely to have a significant impact on the provision of biomedical care for tuberculosis-affected households. Access to diagnostic testing is likely to be reduced, partly because of limited human and material resources, but also because of the social stigma of having a cough or being unwell. This stigma has always been important for tuberculosis and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially driving people with tuberculosis to hide their illness from others and delay accessing healthcare until disease and infectiousness are advanced. COVID-19 and tuberculosis treatment and prevention Provision of appropriate treatment for people who are diagnosed with tuberculosis might also be affected, particularly for people with drug resistant tuberculosis, due to disruptions in the production and transportation of medicines and supplies, reduced nutritional and mental health support, limited access to healthcare facilities, and reduced clinical care to manage adverse drug reactions and comorbidities, such as HIV, diabetes, and cancer. Furthermore, impaired management of these comorbidities is also likely to significantly increase the risk of progression from latent tuberculosis infection to active disease in the general population. To read more-


We have almost lost battle against C19 ,I may be prove wrong if we survive this one sided battle till date corona has upper hand ,if we want to survive we have to invent vaccine or treatment sooner than later. Till date corona pushed us to knee globally. Either we except it or left no stone unturned to save precious human life. Miracles do happen, I am still hopeful because no other options remained open .
Thanks Dr Swami Kumar

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Only questions which keeps on knocking at my brain is how n when this pandemic will end . Lockdown will b over soon . Thats for sure . Plus people arent so afraid of it now as they were during first lockdown . Instead of focussing on the number of cases . We should focus more on reducing mortality . A migrant worker comes from mumbai via train. Authorities do a thermal scan on station .he is then directly sent home to his family . Few days later his reports comes to b positive . Then whats the benefit of this lockdown . Due to few people ignorance stupidity . Someone else is paying the price . Some section of people dont want to wear mask for them wearing mask is like wearing condom during sex . They are so confident of their immunity status . Some people still think that whole coronavirus thing is a hoax . More i think of it . More unanswered questions arises in my mind. There might still b a treatment for a disease . But theres no treatment of stupidity politics for votes n superstition. N india will pay the price ultimately . God save us .
India should keep a track of how China has contained & seems to be tension free regarding Corona - because it is from there that it started. If China can control it,why not India, because it came here much later.What is happening in the country of origin that China is, which we can't do here. The benefits of Ayurvedic kadha & other measures should be made full use of. Maybe,it can't take the place of Vaccines & Allopathic medicines,but what is the harm in its optimum use till a vaccine arrives in the Indian market,that too at a rate affordable by all patients in India.Tuberculosis as a comorbidity is important,but at present the effective treatment & the containment of the number of Covid cases is most important.
Relevant post India being a developing country and heavily burdened with tuberculosis and now covid19 yes it is bound affect the economy and social structure of society Poorer is going to be more poor and lower middle class will shift in to poor class Still energetic PM and dedicated indian medical services will come to demand of time as in past
Thanx dr Pushkar Mehra

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Very nice and relevant share. Due to Covid 19 pandemic patients with more common illnesses are suffering for many reasons.
Thank you doctor
Thank you for the information
Much informative sir
Informative post
Thank you doctor
Many other diseases and patients suffering from them are left unattended in lot of civil facilities and even in private hospitals due to fear of COVID19. I think that mortality rate is way beyond COVID!

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