#TalkThursday: Rise of multi-drug resistant TB

Rappler talks to experts about the fight to eradicate the contagious disease, tuberculosis


MANILA, Philippines – Tuberculosis is a highly contagious airborne infection. Approximately one-third of the world’s population is estimated to be infected with latent TB. According to the World health Organization, this refers to people who have been infected by TB bacteria but are not yet ill with the disease and cannot transmit it.

According to the latest WHO Global Tuberculosis Control report, approximately 8.7 million people became sick in 2011 and nearly 1.4 million people died from TB or TB-related causes.

Despite substantial efforts to control TB, the disease remains a significant public health burden. In the past two decades, this burden has increased with the rise of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) a hard-to-treat form of the disease that is resistant to first-line therapies.

This resistance emerges from the misuse of TB therapies, including poor drug supply, poor drug quality, or patients’ inability to complete their treatment regimens.

It is estimated that 440,000 new cases of MDR-TB emerge each year, leading to 150,000 annual deaths.

According to the WHO, the Philippines ranks in the top ten in TB prevalence. An average of 75 Filipinos die every day from TB.

But the Philippines has come a long way. The country has reached a case detection rate of 75% and maintained a treatment success rate of 87%.

Tropical Disease Foundation Program Manager Dr Mamel Quelapio and Otsuka Pharmaceutical communications manager Marc Destito talk to Rappler about the fight to eradicate this contagious disease, and the rise of drug resistant strains. 

What can the rest of the world learn from the Philippines in the fight against TB? – Rappler.com