Photo: Dalbir Singh, Co-Chair of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly
The strategy to counter CAVID-19 can further help the world to eliminate tuberculosis and other diseases, said Dalbir Singh, President of the Global Coalition of Tuberculosis Activists, Co-chair of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, reports tvbrics.com with reference to the Hindu BusinessLine (translation of the website of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly eurasia-assembly.org).
As the newspaper reports, the head of the Coalition has found a positive point in the current difficult situation. He noted that corona virus had become a truly unifying force for the world, uniting all peoples in the fight against mortal danger.
Efforts to combat this previously unexplored virus have led, Singh said, to build an effective strategy, collective action and deeper coordination between different agencies in different countries.
However, in the search for effective means of combating the virus, people often forget about another, no less dangerous threat, claiming thousands of lives every day. As Dalbir Singh noted, tuberculosis attacks with a vengeance today, killing 4,000 and infecting 30 thousand people every day around the world. In India alone, 1,600 people die every day because of this mycobacterium.
Singh notes that the difference between these two threats to humanity lies in the nature of the phenomena: COVID-19 is a viral infection, and tuberculosis is bacterial, but there is a unifying factor - the medium for the transmission of diseases is the same.
Thus, the expert concludes, observing the same requirements as in the prevention of COVID-19 infection, humanity will be able to effectively resist tuberculosis.
“I believe we don't need to wait for the pandemic to capture all of our attention and vigilance against public health threats, especially infectious diseases. We need to be alert, keep up to date and share accurate information about why and how these issues can be resolved,” - Dalbir Singh said.
Earlier, the World Health Organization stated that medical services, including national tuberculosis programs, “should be actively involved in ensuring an effective and quick response to COVID-19 while ensuring that tuberculosis services are maintained.”
Equally important, in addition to the high level of response and concerted action, Singh said, is to address the problem of social discrimination and ostracism of TB patients. And here, to his opinion, can help influential people in society - actors, musicians, athletes and other celebrities, who should help to raise mass awareness about tuberculosis and other infections, their treatment and prevention.
Amitabh Bachchan, an Indian actor, TV presenter and politician is a good example. He has been campaigning on public health issues related to polio and tuberculosis.
As Dalbir Singh noted, the experience and knowledge of the events held, innovative solutions and partnerships between countries that have united against the deadly threat will help build a unique strategy for combating infectious diseases.