'Covid suffocates TB'
According to Stop TB Partnership’s executive director, Dr Lucica Ditiu, there was currently one vaccine for TB in the human trial phase. But for Covid-19, there are at least 47 vaccines in this phase, all developed in less than a year, reported The Citizen (18 November 2020).
Ditiu said that although TB remains “killer number one” Covid-19 did more than disrupt funding and attention for TB - it impacted the enrolments of its only vaccine, which were first stopped due to the pandemic and then, decreased.
Experts predict that global TB deaths could increase by up to 400 000 this year alone if health services continue to be disrupted by Covid-19. An estimated 10-m people contracted TB in 2019, with about 1.2-m deaths. A total of 25% of infections originated in Africa, with South Africa among the eight countries that accounted for two thirds of the global total.