Colombia is ranking fifth worldwide for the number of confirmed tuberculosis cases in 2011, revealed the Ministry of Health.
There were 11,708 confirmed cases of tuberculosis in 2011, approximately 24 per 100,000 Colombians.
The situation is worse for indigenous groups, whose incidence of the infectious disease is 2.5 times higher than the national average. In certain villages, the incidence was as high as 500 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Males are the most affected gender, with the highest incidence occurring in the 25 to 34 age range.
With an annual allocation of over $6 million dedicated to fighting the disease, the Ministry of Health plans to provide guaranteed doses for all those in need.
“Currently the ministry is negotiating the acquisition of second-line drugs to ensure the uninterrupted treatment of cases,” explained health minister Beatriz Londoño.
In addition to providing vaccines, the Ministry of Health plans to use a multifaceted approach to fighting the disease through health promotion and prevention and ensuring the implementation of diagnostic tests across the country.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs, but can spread to other parts of the body. Its symptoms include chronic coughing, fever and weight loss. It’s transmitted from an individual with active pulmonary tuberculosis through coughing, sneezing and spitting. It is more easily transmitted in spaces with poor ventilation.