Serap Duru Akçalı, one of the doctors at Ankara Etlik City Hospital Chest Diseases Clinic, said that various activities are held every year on March 24, World Tuberculosis Day. Akçalı stated that tuberculosis is an infection caused by microbacteria: “It mainly affects the lungs; if he has such symptoms, he should definitely see a doctor,” he said.
‘THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS WAS 20 THOUSAND IN 2005, TODAY 6 THOUSAND’
Akçalı stated that tuberculosis is one of the oldest diseases in human history and said, “After diagnosis, it can be treated with drug treatments within a period of 6-9 months. But individuals have to comply; patients have to go to their doctor and check “Billions of people are thought to be infected. But these infected people are not always active patients. However, when their immune system is weakened or other diseases are involved, tuberculosis can be triggered and the symptoms I mentioned can occur. It is also being treated very successfully with the National Tuberculosis Control Program in Turkey. “The number of patients, which was about 20,000 in 2005, has dropped to 6,000 today. And the death rate has gradually decreased,” he said.
‘TUBERCULOSIS CASE CASE REDUCED 56 PERCENT IN 10 YEARS’
Akçalı shared the report from the Public Health Agency of Turkey and said, “The number of newly discovered tuberculosis patients in our country is decreasing by about 7 percent every year. The World Health Organization’s 2021 report has estimated the incidence of tuberculosis for Turkey at 16 per hundred thousand and the death rate at 51 per thousand. The number of tuberculosis patients, which was 20 thousand 535 in 2005, decreased to 8 thousand 925 in 2020, and the incidence, which was 29.4 per 100 thousand in 2005, decreased to 10.6 in 2020. Over the past 10 years, the overall incidence rate has dropped to 56 percent.”There’s been a 5% decrease,” he said.
‘THE EARTHQUAKE IS EXPOSED TO DUST AND SMOKE’
Akçalı stated that the incidence of not only tuberculosis, but also many diseases that affect the immune system has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic period, Akçalı said: “Tuberculosis is one of them. Weakening of the (immune) system can cause tuberculosis activated. At this stage, we follow the hygiene, mask and distancing rule that we recommend to patients. Our people living in the earthquake area were exposed to a lot of dust and smoke during this period, and their hygiene deteriorated. In this sense, especially elderly patients, their immune systems may be weakened and their tuberculosis may be activated as a result of this exposure, which is why they should undergo more careful medical monitoring.” We have to be careful. We need to get our doctor’s checks done. Patients with a history of tuberculosis can go to tuberculosis pharmacies more often and take their precautions by contacting their own doctors for chest diseases,” he said.