The current testing and treatment programs for tuberculosis in Belgium are not hitting the targets needed to eradicate the disease by 2035. They have not reduced the rate of cases, Le Soir reported on Monday. In 2013, 981 cases of Tuberculosis were recorded, which is 9 cases in every 100,000 people. There is a very slight fall in Belgians. But 52% of cases are non-Belgians, and it hits nearly 5 times as many of them.
More than half of cases are concentrated in the seven big cities. “This can be easily explained, as poverty and tuberculosis are linked”, say Fares experts, who keep a register on Tuberculosis.
One of the causes of the stagnation is the number of those who abandon treatment, which is 20% in Brussels. “The risk is bigger in the most vulnerable patients, such as asylum seekers, prisoners, and the homeless. They need care that lets them take the right amount of medication, but also solve their social and everyday problems, such as having somewhere to sleep or something to eat”, says Maryse Wanlin, Fares director.