The World Health Organization (WHO) declared TB a "Global
Emergency" in 1993 because of their concern about this modern
epidemic which is out of control.
According to the WHO, one billion people will be newly infected, 200 million will get sick, and 35 million will die from tuberculosis 'if controls are not urgently strengthened' in the next two decades.
Many governments are not facing the facts that
TB is being transported around the world by immigrants. It is a
fact that TB is prevalent in poorer communities.
The disease, "Consumption" as it is
known in History books kills by literally, 'consuming' the lungs of its
victims and drowning them in their own blood.
The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease received priority attention in
England and the world and yet TB and its catastrophic
effects on people is hardly worth a mention in parliament. Deaths from
TB and HIV/AIDS are boring!
We need to do everything in our power to assist third world countries cope with this disease that is consuming and destroying a life every second of every day.
There is evidence that tuberculosis was introduced to South Africa by the colonists who came from Europe. It only became established in South Africa after about 1800.
Why did the Karoo have such a high rate of infection?
We have our wonderful climate to blame for this. People who had tuberculosis were sent away to try and get better. The doctors recommended that they be sent to places of high altitude, where it was dry and sunny. They believed this would help the disease which was called "consumption." The disease literally consumed your body and lungs and then you would drown in your own blood. T
People, sick with TB were sent to live in South Africa. They went to stay in the Karoo (Beaufort West and Matjiesfontein) and so they spread the germs to our South African people. The Karoo towns developed the highest mortality rates from TB in South Africa. This trend continues today as these areas are lacking in funds, have inadequate housing and the rural people are poor and far from medical treatment.
The discovery of gold and diamonds resulted in an influx of people from overseas in the 1800. Many miners who came from Europe were infected with TB. Cecil John Rhodes, the mining magnate was himself sent here because of his TB.
Conditions on the mines favoured the rapid spread of TB
HIV severely weakens the immune system and so people who suffer from AIDS have no resistance to disease. TB is the first indication of AIDS in more than half of the developing world. People with both diseases also suffer double discrimination. TB makes the poor even poorer as people become sick and income is lost in families that are already battling. The stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS is also causing problems for TB sufferers in communities that view AIDS patients as a threat to society.