Tuberculosis is a deadly bacterial diseases that attacks the lungs and affects millions of people around the globe. In both HIV negative and positive populations, Tuberculosis remains one of the major global health problems, especially in poor and resource limited areas. According to 2012 report of WHO, there were 8.7 million new cases of TB and 1.4 million deaths throughout the world in 2011. Out of these TB deaths, 430,000 deaths occurred among HIV positive individuals. There is a strong link between TB and HIV, so one out of every 5 TB deaths occurs in HIV positive population (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
In this article, the researchers studied the transmission of TB across resource limited areas of the world. First, they studied the transmission of TB in South Africa, where TB transmission is concomitant with HIV. Then, they studied the transmission of TB in Asia, Europe and America where TB transmission is not linked with HIV. The purpose of this research study was to investigate and find out the various transmission means of TB in different parts of the world with different environment, disease burden and other TB related factors. Basically, by adopting different ways and going across different areas of the world, they wanted to focus on the transmission means of TB; especially in the resource limited settings. With the help of this research, the researchers wanted to deeply investigate the mode of transmission of TB, so that they can use this information to educate people on how TB spreads and how can we stop the transmission of TB by adopting few safe measures (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
The purpose of the study has clearly been stated. The researchers have stated that unrecognized TB transmission remains one the leading causes of continuous TB transmission that leads to many TB epidemics in poor and resource limited areas. They also have stated that in such resource limited areas, there is a shortage of adequate diagnostic, treatment, infection control and community care services. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify such weaknesses in different communities and to properly address them or make people aware, which in turn can lower the transmission of TB. The main target of the researchers was to educate the community healthcare workers and common people so that they can better know about the transmission risk of TB and can avoid making those mistakes, which they repeatedly have been making (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
The article has a clear hypothesis that has been well stated by the researchers in the article. The hypothesis of this study is “Many resource limited communities are at a high risk of TB transmission due to lack of proper awareness and unavailability of adequate healthcare services, and the healthcare workers in such areas are also at a great risk of getting infected with TB”. From what was stated, the design of the study is based on the hypothesis. They choose some areas of South Africa where people were not aware of the transmission risk, nor do they have adequate healthcare and community care services, which could have helped them to better know about the transmission risks of TB; especially in a HIV positive community since they belong to an HIV positive community. The researchers found that in resource limited areas of South Africa there are insufficient government hospitals to accommodate the massive number of patients. So, in such areas people who visit hospitals for another reason or the healthcare staff who work closely to such patients may get exposed to major risk of getting TB as there are a number of undiagnosed and untreated people with TB (Joshi, Reingold, Menzies & Pai, 2006). Therefore, the healthcare workers in resource limited areas are also at a great risk of getting TB (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
The result of the studies support the hypothesis. The authors have reviewed some studies that have shown similar trends as expressed by the hypothesis of the study. According to the results of this study, in developing countries, there are hundreds and thousands of potential TB affected individuals who often go undiagnosed and untreated due to lack of awareness of the transmission mode and unavailability of diagnostic, clinical, treatment and community services. Similarly, there are so many healthcare workers who may have a latent or undiagnosed TB infection that they may not be aware of. This is a common scenario in most of the resource limited settings or areas of the world. The researchers have not used any figures or graphs for this study. Throughout this article, the researchers have discussed the results of this study by conducting some original research in South Africa, and have reviewed the results of some other similar studies (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
This article is clearly related to Bio 111 course as it is about a widespread bacterial disease TB. Moreover, in this study, the researchers have discussed details about the causative agent of the disease, disease cycle, and its global impact, how it is transmitted from one person to another or from one area to another. Furthermore, they have also mentioned why this disease is more common in resource limited areas, how to overcome the transmission of this disease, and how to control it. Knowing about any disease and its mode of transmission is all related to life, and biology is all about life. As human beings, people should be aware of the different diseases, how they spread and how to control them to achieve a disease free healthy life, which is the premise of Biology. Understanding the nature of Bacteria and how it affects our everyday lives is one of the key aspects to comprehending the Biology 111 course (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
When it comes to what I have learned after reading this article, I can say that I have learned a lot about TB, its causative agent, how it gets transmitted, and how we can control the transmission of TB. Another area where I got a lot of interesting knowledge is why TB is so common in underdeveloped and developing nations. Moreover, its transmission is higher in resource limited areas because of the lack of awareness among people. In addition, the unavailability of adequate diagnostic clinical treatment and community care services in such areas contribute to large portion of transmission. I also learned that in resource limited areas where there is a shortage of Government hospitals and healthcare facilities, healthcare workers and people who live close to infected individuals could be at a greater risk of getting TB. In such hospital settings, hundreds of people with undiagnosed and untreated TB can spread the disease without even knowing about it. This article also helped me learn if people recognize the transmission mode of TB. Lastly, we can try to control its transmission to decrease widespread disease and easily lower the number of TB cases throughout the world; especially in the resource limited settings (Kompala, Shenoi & Friedland, 2013).
Kompala, T., Shenoi, S., & Friedland, G. (2013). Transmission of Tuberculosis in Resource-Limited Settings.
Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 10(3), 264-272. doi: 10.1007/s11904-013-0164-x
Joshi, R., Reingold, A., Menzies, D., & Pai, M. (2006). Tuberculosis among Health-Care Workers in Low- and
Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. Plos Medicine, 3(12), e494. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030494
(2018). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/gtbr12_main.pdf