Why is Tuberculosis diagnosis still a problem?
Over 1.5 million people lost their lives to Tuberculosis (TB) last year. And each year, there are over 10 million new cases. 40% of these cases are not even diagnosed.
This has been happening for decades. Long before Covid-19.
The identification of TB causing mycobacteria is essential in diagnosing TB. Only 56% of TB cases are confirmed; a large number of patients go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for long periods, unintentionally spreading TB in their family, communities, and those they come in contact with.
Widely used smear microscopy is only 50% accurate. State-of-the-art NAAT tests are too expensive to do for all suspected patients, and are often in centralized places, away from the lives of those affected.