World TB Day: Incidence rate in Tunisia stands at 27.7 per 100,000 inhabitants

As all the international community, Tunisia will observe on March 24, the World TB Day under the slogan: “Early detection ensures cure and limits infection.” This epidemic’s incidence rate in Tunisia stands at 27.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, reads an information note released by the Health Ministry’s Primary Health Care Directorate. The Health Ministry seeks through this event, to raise the Tunisian people’s awareness about the importance of prevention and early detection in the treatment of tuberculosis. Tunisia logged 3,264 new cases in 2022, with an estimated incidence rate of 27.7 per 100 000 inhabitants. These new cases include 1,237 cases of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and 2,027 cases of extra pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB), 1,418 of which are strep tuberculosis and 11 are new cases of Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB). 16 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) were treated out of 18 cases in 2022, while no cases of tuberculous meningitis (TBM) were recorded in children aged under five. Strep tuberculosis is still the leading cause of death due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and its infection is mainly cause by the rising consumption of unsterilised milk and by-products, as 70% of strep tuberculosis infections are due to bovine tuberculosis bacteria associated with the consumption of unsterilised milk and by-products and undercooked red meat, reads the same source. According to this note, the Health Ministry is working on devising a strategy for the 2023/2026 National Tuberculosis Programme, which includes early detection of cases with signs of tuberculosis and strep tuberculosis and improving the quality of care for the sick.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)