New study suggests TB, diabetes co-infection in Bangladesh
Nurul Islam Hasib from Liverpool bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-10-27 23:31:46.0 BdST Updated: 2016-10-28 04:17:57.0 BdST
It was a wake-up call worldwide when experts last year in a summit in the Indonesia's Bali flagged that patients having both TB and diabetes represented a “looming co-epidemic’.
Now a new study suggests that the co-infection is very much present in Bangladesh where both TB and diabetes are widespread.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) presented the study at the ongoing ‘The Union’’s world conference on lung health in Liverpool.
Researchers suggest the government start ‘bi-directional screening’ for the simultaneous detection of TB and diabetes, a method that screens TB patients for diabetes and diabetes patients for TB.
Diabetes upsets immunity, and triples a person’s risk of contracting TB. On the other hand, unchecked diabetes compromises lengthy TB treatment outcomes.
Dr Md Toufiq Rahman, senior research investigator, told bdnews24.com that they had asked 15,515 people with suspected tuberculosis, who came to their screening centres between Nov 2O14 and Jan 2O16, to test their diabetic condition.
“It was voluntary and free. 3,93O responded to our call and did the test,” he said, “of them, we found 14 percent diabetic, and among those diabetic people, we later confirmed 23 percent with tuberculosis”.
“It points to the fact that we must start this bi-directional screening,” he said, “if the two co-exist then it compromises the tuberculosis treatment outcome”.
“So a TB patient must know his or her diabetic condition since it is widespread in Bangladesh, and vice versa."
In the ‘bi-directional screening’, hospitals will ask TB patients whether they have diabetes and if the answer is negative, then they will be screened with a blood test for glucose.
A paramedic (R) checks the blood sugar level of a patient at SS Diabetes. Reuters File Photo
“With this, we can identify the missing cases as globally half of the people don’t know they are diabetic and a third do not know about their TB,” Dr Anthony Harries, who is globally known as an expert on this new threat, told bdnews24.com last year after the co-infection came to the fore.
The rate of diabetes in Bangladesh is 11 percent and it is expected to increase to 13 percent by 2030.
Preliminary results of the latest TB prevalence survey finds the rate is 295 per 100,000 population. The survey also found that Bangladesh can detect only a third of the TB cases.
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