Connect with us

World

Tuberculosis Day 2022: All you need to know

Published

on

  • Tuberculosis is the second deadliest infectious disease.
  • TB defies vaccines and antibiotics.
  • TB is present on all five continents, but developing countries are disproportionately affected.

Tuberculosis (TB) may have been overtaken by COVID-19 as the world’s deadliest infectious disease, but it continues to defy vaccines and antibiotics to wreak a grim global toll.

Here are five things to know about an infection that has scourged the world for tens of thousands of years.

40,000 years old

TB first emerged around 40,000 years ago, according to genetic studies.

For a long time, scientists believed that tuberculosis in humans came from TB in cattle and that it had been transmitted when livestock farming started in the Neolithic Age.

But recent studies paint a different picture, showing that TB already existed in humans before they started to raise cattle. Traces of the illness have been discovered in human remains that are around 11,000 years old.

100 years ago: A vaccine

World TB Day is marked each year on March 24, the anniversary of the announcement of the discovery of the bacillus in 1882 by Nobel laureate Robert Koch of Germany.

It was, however, only in 1921 that France’s legendary Pasteur Institute developed the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which became one of the world´s oldest and most trusted jabs.

A century on, the vaccine is still in use and is particularly effective in preventing tuberculosis in children, but results are variable in adults.

Antibiotics are not very effective

In the 1940s and 1950s, the discovery of streptomycin and other antibiotics made it possible to treat pulmonary TB, the most common form of the disease amongst adults and teens.

But drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis emerged, forcing doctors to use antibiotic cocktails to efficiently muzzle the bacteria and to apply their treatment over several months.

Some strains are resistant to several TB drugs, forcing the use of alternative treatments for many months and leading in some cases to therapeutic failures.

Second-biggest killer

TB was the world’s second-deadliest infectious disease after Covid-19 in 2020 (the latest year for which figures are available), accounting for 1.5 million deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Covid killed more than 1.8 million people that year, according to an AFP count based on official figures.

Before Covid emerged, TB had occupied the top spot, claiming more lives than HIV/AIDS, which cost 680,000 lives in 2020 according to UNAIDS.

TB is also a major cause of death amongst people living with HIV.

Disruptions in access to healthcare because of the Covid pandemic have erased years of progress toward tackling the curable disease.

As a result, TB is on the rise again globally, with the number of deaths rising by 7% in 2020.

On five continents

TB is present on all five continents, but developing countries are disproportionately affected.

In 2020, two regions accounted for the biggest number of new cases: southeast Asia recorded 43% of the new cases and Africa 25%, according to the WHO.

Two-thirds of the cases were concentrated in eight countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Traval

In Canada, another member of the PIA crew disappears.

Published

on

By

Jibran Baloch, a flight attendant, is the second PIA air hostess to vanish this month; she was scheduled to take a Toronto trip from Karachi and then left the hotel.

Flight 782 failed to arrive for its planned return duty on February 29. Jibran Baloch, a flight attendant, is the second air hostess to go this month.

When staff members searched Jabran Baloch’s room, they discovered that he had fallen. Another missing person from the hotel a few days earlier was a female air hostess. In just a few months, almost 12 air hostesses who were assigned to flights to Toronto had vanished.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight hostess is said to have vanished from her job in Canada earlier this month.

When Maryam Raza, who was supposed to be on aircraft PK 782 from Pakistan to Toronto, neglected to show up for work on the return trip, PK 784 from Toronto to Karachi, the event became public knowledge. According to those with knowledge of the situation, after PIA’s hanging uniform was found in her room, a letter with the words “Thank you, PIA” was found next to it.

This is the third instance of PIA flight attendants’slipping’ while on duty that has been documented this year; two of the cases involve women.

The efficacy of these procedures has not increased despite steps taken to prevent similar instances, such as obtaining the passports of flight attendants assigned to Toronto flights.

Continue Reading

Pakistan

China “agrees” to transfer $2 billion in debt to Pakistan.

Published

on

By

ISLAMABAD China has “agreed” to roll over a $2 billion loan to Pakistan, according to sources cited by ARY News, which is a big milestone.

Sources inside the ministry of finance claim that the $2 billion loan will be rolled over under the current terms prior to its maturity date.

Less than 2 percent interest will be charged on the $2 billion in Chinese debt that is being deposited, according to sources.

According to reports, the $2 billion debt’s maturity period will conclude on March 23, 2024, and an additional $2 billion will be rolled over for a year.

It is important to note that as of the end of November in FY2023–24, Pakistan’s overall debt load was at an astounding Rs 63,399 trillion.

Over Rs12.430 trillion more was borrowed by the nation during the PDM and caretaker government’s mandate.

With domestic loans totaling Rs40.956 trillion and foreign loans totaling Rs22.434 trillion, Pakistan’s total debt load increased to Rs63.390 trillion.

China postponed paying Pakistan’s $2 billion debt for two years, starting in July 2023. Regarding the delay in debt recovery, Pakistan received an official letter from China Eximbank.

Pakistan will return the debt in accordance with the terms of the deal with China and was also spared from paying extra interest on the loan. According to further sources, all 31 loan agreements were extended over the original date of July 21, 2023, to June 30, 2025.

Continue Reading

World

American surgeons successfully perform world’s first eye transplant

Published

on

By

New York surgeons claim to have conducted the world’s first whole-eye transplant on a man, marking a significant turning point in the history of the medical field, though it’s unclear if the patient will recover vision.

Aaron James, who survived a high-voltage electrical accident, underwent a 21-hour surgery to replace half of his face, marking a significant breakthrough, according to experts, in the quest to restore sight to millions of people.

James, a high-voltage utility line worker from Arkansas lost most of his face in 2021 after he accidentally touched a 7,200-volt live wire.

He underwent a rare partial face and eye transplant, on 27 May this year involving over 140 healthcare professionals.

The intricate procedure was carried out by surgeons at New York University (NYU) Langone Health, who said on Thursday that James, 46, was making a full recovery from the dual transplant and that the donated eye appeared exceptionally healthy. His right eye still works.

“The mere fact that we’ve accomplished the first successful whole-eye transplant with a face is a tremendous feat many have long thought was not possible,” said Dr Eduardo Rodriguez, one of the leading surgeons on the team.

“We’ve made one major step forward and have paved the way for the next chapter to restore vision.”

Doctors say James’ surgery offers scientists an unprecedented window into how the human eye tries to heal, BBC reported.

“We’re not claiming that we are going to restore sight,” Dr Rodriguez told ABC News. “But there’s no doubt in my mind we are one step closer.”

While there is no certainty James will regain vision in his new eye, doctors do not rule out the possibility either.

Aaron James of Hot Springs, Arkansas, poses with Dr. Eduardo D Rodriguez after he underwent surgery for the world’s first whole-eye transplant as part of a partial face transplant at NYU Langone in an undated photograph. — Reuters
Aaron James of Hot Springs, Arkansas, poses with Dr. Eduardo D Rodriguez after he underwent surgery for the world’s first whole-eye transplant as part of a partial face transplant at NYU Langone in an undated photograph. — Reuters

“If I can see out of it, that’s great,” James said in an interview. “But if it’ll kick-start the next path in the medical field, then I’m all for it.”

James, a military veteran, will continue to be monitored by doctors but has seen “exceptional” progress with his eye transplant, according to Bruce E Gelb, MD, a transplant surgeon at NYU.

The donated face and eye came from a male donor in his 30s, and stem cells were injected into the optic nerve for repair.

James is only the 19th person in the US to undergo a face transplant.

He has called the eye transplant “life-changing” and says he is “grateful beyond words” to the donor and their family for making the surgery possible.

Continue Reading

Trending