25 Mar 2013

Scientists call for new approach to tackling TB

1:15 pm on 25 March 2013

An international group of scientists says governments need to take a visionary new approach if they are to tackle tuberculosis.

Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, the group says there is complacency about the threat posed by the possible emergence of an untreatable strain of the infection.

They say in parts of central Asia and Eastern Europe up to a third of TB infections have become virtually untreatable.

The BBC reports the World Health Organisation says nearly nine million people become sick and 1.4 million die from tuberculosis each year.

One of the report's authors, Alimuddin Zumla, says there is "no overnight solution" for tuberculosis.

He says many of the necessary tools, such as antibiotics, have already been developed - the challenge is using them appropriately in often poor countries.