Fighting Tuberculosis in Africa: The Current Situation Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic


Uwishema O., Badri R., Onyeaka H., Okereke M., Akhtar S., Mhanna M., ...More

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/dmp.2022.142
  • Journal Name: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, PASCAL, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: tuberculosis, COVID-19, pandemics, Africa, health-care disparities
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No

Abstract

© 2022 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.Globally, tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading infectious causes of mortality, with around 4000 deaths daily. Since the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Africa, the region has experienced a lapse in responses directed at TB control, since the priority has shifted to interventions aimed at managing COVID-19. In addition to an unprecedented burden on the region's already overburdened health systems, another major public health concern is the clinical similarities between COVID-19 and TB, making TB diagnosis increasingly challenging, which may lead to poor prognosis especially in people with TB and COVID-19 co-infection. A likely implication is that TB patients may stop attending healthcare facilities due to fear of contracting or being diagnosed with COVID-19 to avoid being stigmatized, invariably resulting in a disruption in their access to healthcare services. Therefore, massive global support should be provided for TB endemic countries to respond synergistically and strongly to the thousands of TB cases as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.