Tuberculosis (TB) has changed its face. Today rick and educated people have TB, including politicians and businessmen, Advisor to Director General of Public Health Center Yana Terleyeva has said.
"If we earlier said that mainly poor people had TB, today the situation has changed. Among people with TB, there are many rich and educated people, politicians, businessmen, teachers and doctors. No one is protected from TB," she said at a briefing organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kyiv.
She said that almost all adults are infected with TB mycobacteria and around 10% of them are taken ill with TB due to different circumstances.
"A businessman could have stress, the immune system would fail and he would get ill," she said.
Terleyeva said that TB vaccination for adults is low-effective.
She said that primary care doctors do not diagnose TB.
She said that the TB medical assistance in Ukraine is inefficient, particularly due to the practice of treating it at in-patient facilities.
"Today all patients have medicines, but the medical care provision system in Ukraine is not effective today. Ukraine has the practice of putting patients with TB to in-patient facilities. Global practice says that patients with TB could be treated in out-patient centres in some conditions if infection monitoring is conducted. If a patient gets the right treatment, in several days he brings no danger to the public," she said.
The expert said that in in-patient facilities people get re-infected. Only half of Ukrainian TB institutions meet the infection control requirements.
She said that one day of in-patient treatment for patients with TB costs some $32 in Ukraine. The major part of the money is sent to maintain buildings and pay salaries, and only 10-15% is provided for the treatment services.
"This practice should be changed," Terleyeva said.
She said that around 5,000 people die from TB in Ukraine every year. As a rule, these are who were too late to come for medical care and have many other diseases.