By Ahmet Sertan Usul
ANKARA (AA) – Turkiye remains well below both the world and European average in terms of the number of deaths related to tuberculosis, according to information obtained by Anadolu Agency from the country’s General Directorate of Public Health.
Tuberculosis, which is transmitted by air and can affect all organs, especially the lungs, is among the top 10 causes of death in the world.
The death rate due to tuberculosis was 19.7 per 100,000 worldwide, 2.9 per 100,000 in the World Health Organization (WHO) European region and 0.5 per 100,000 in Turkiye, according to the data.
Diagnostic and therapeutic services for the disease are provided free of charge at all of Turkiye’s medical institutions.
Medicines used to treat the disease are provided by the Health Ministry and delivered to citizens free of charge.
In addition, the treatment of foreign patients in Turkiye is also free of charge.
A protocol signed between the Health Ministry and the Family and Social Services Ministry has provided monthly cash assistance to tuberculosis patients experiencing economic and social difficulties since 2018.
Additional support payments are provided in cases where medical self-care is required and living conditions at home are insufficient.
A "National Tuberculosis Control Program" is being implemented in Turkiye as part of the fight against tuberculosis.
The program covers the activities carried out to achieve the goal of a "tuberculosis-free Turkiye" for the reduction of the incidence of tuberculosis and deaths due to the disease and to prevent related problems faced by families.
The program aims to regularly conduct treatment and control of tuberculosis patients, provide psychosocial support to patients and their families, and improve the quality of life by reducing poverty.
As a result of many years of work carried out in cooperation with public and non-governmental organizations, the number of patients and incidence of tuberculosis in Turkiye are decreasing by 3%-4% every year.
The WHO also calculates the estimated incidence rate of tuberculosis for all countries.
The estimated incidence worldwide in 2020 was calculated as 127 per 100,000, while in the WHO European region consisting of 53 countries, including Turkiye, the rate was 25 per 100,000.
*Writing by Merve Berker