Brazil slashes TB mortality but 70,000 cases keep it a top priority
This article was originally published in Clinica
The incidence of tuberculosis in Brazil has fallen by almost 26% in the last 10 years but the disease remains a major diagnostic priority for the government. The number of new cases fell from almost 83,000 in 1999, to 70,380 in 2008, and TB-related mortality fell by 34.2% between 1999 and 2007. However, the disease remains the country's fourth-leading infections-related cause of death. A secondary benefit of the national TB detection programme, reports the health ministry, has been to improve the detection of HIV. Last year, the percentage of HIV cases detected through testing done in response to a TB diagnosis stood at over 45%, compared with under 26% in 2001.