Az "Amerika Hangja" - Voice of America - tuberkulozis Kelet
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title=Eastern Europe / tuberculosis (l)
Intro: The world health organization says the number of deaths
from tuberculosis is increasing in Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union after a steady decline over four decades. The
increase is attributed to political, economic and social changes
caused by the difficult transition from communism to capitalism.
V-o-A's Wayne Corey reports from Geneva.
Text: The world health organization says more than two million
Eastern Europeans have been infected with tuberculosis over the
past five years.
About 29-thousand deaths from T-B were reported in Eastern Europe
last year. The W-H-O is clearly alarmed about the situation.
The W-H-O has sponsored a meeting in Warsaw of national health
officials, involved in tuberculosis control programs. A report
on the meeting has been released here in Geneva.
The W-H-O's top T-B expert, Arata Kochi, says the political,
economic and social problems in Eastern Europe that have
developed since the fall of communism in 1989 are responsible for
the increasing cases of tuberculosis.
Doctor Kochi says the spread of T-B in Eastern Europe is not
linked to aids as it is in other parts of the world.
The biggest increase in T-B cases is in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan,
Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Turkmenistan. The most
dramatic increases are being seen in large cities.
In Moscow, for example, the T-B rate is said to have nearly
doubled over the last two years. The siberian city of Tomsk is
reported to have a T-B rate similar to that of severely-affected
areas of Asia and Africa.
The W-H-O says only five Eastern European countries are using the
recommended tuberculosis treatment of short-term chemotherapy.
They are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and
In other countries in the region, T-B control programs are short
of money and lack the necessary drugs. Aging of the Eastern
European population is considered another reason for the increase
The world health organization is calling on all Eastern European
nations to improve their T-B control programs and to use
chemotherapy in all cases.
If these programs are not strengthened, the W-H-O warns of an
explosion of T-B cases in Eastern Europe in the next decade.
If T-B is not controlled in the east, the W-H-O adds that it
cannot be controlled in Western Europe. Nearly half of the T-B
cases in some Western European countries are found among
foreigners, especially those from Eastern Europe.
Tuberculosis now claims nearly three million lives around the
world each year, more than any other infectious disease.
20-jun-94 8:59 am edt (1259 utc)
source: Voice of America