The registration of tuberculosis cases in Amazonas increased by 12%, comparing new cases registered in 2021 (3,209) and 2020 (2,853). The epidemiological scenario of tuberculosis in the state is monitored by the Fundação de Vigilância em Saúde do Amazonas – Dr. Rosemary Costa Pinto (FVS-RCP), through the State Program against Tuberculosis in Amazonas (PECT) .
The 2021 data demonstrates the recovery in the detection of new cases of the disease, after the year 2020 in which people intensified social isolation, as a preventive measure against Covid-19, reducing the search for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in health services.
“In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted the detection of new cases, the indicators also point to the resumption of active research activities by health teams,” said Anoar Samad, Secretary of State for Health.
With the advance in the identification of new cases, a worrying indicator is the proportion of cases of tuberculosis treatment defaulters, which increased from 15.4% in 2020 to 16.3% in 2021.
“It is necessary to intensify surveillance of tuberculosis, in particular on the importance of continuity of treatment. Expanding the detection of new cases is another challenge for municipal TB control programs, based on disease control actions, even with the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing”, underlines Tatyana Amorim, Director-President of FVS-CPR.
The coordinator of the PECT, Jair Pinheiro, points out that in addition to the activities aimed at intensifying the detection of cases of the disease, the expansion of access to the diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (ITBL) in the municipalities will be a priority action in 2022.
According to Jair, priority municipalities and departments for the implementation of the Tuberculin test and the Interferon Gamma Release Assay (Igra), which are the two tests used for the diagnosis of LTBI, have already been identified.
“Later, we will have to start the process of training doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals for the treatment and monitoring of latent infections. This is a fundamental strategy for the prevention of diseases and the achievement of the objectives of eliminating tuberculosis as a public health problem assumed by the FVS-RCP”, adds the coordinator of the PECT.
Tuberculosis is an infectious and communicable disease that primarily affects the lungs, but can also affect other organs and systems. It is transmitted by Koch’s bacillus.
The treatment of ITL and the BCG vaccine are important ways to prevent and fight the disease. The BCG vaccine is available free of charge from the Unified Health Service (USS). This vaccine should be given to children at birth or, at most, until they are 4 years, 11 months and 29 days old. The vaccine protects against the most severe forms of the disease.
With information from the consulting firm