Healthcare News Review 30th March 2022: Why public health programmes must integrate communication across diseases

PRmoment's weekly 'The Healthcare News Review' column will look at the biggest healthcare news trends every week and analyse the communications implications of that.

Last week was World TB Day, something you may have not really taken note of. 

Why TB communication still matters?

But TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since the year 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020.

The Covid-TB Coinfection:

Several countries have trialled simultaneous testing strategies for COVID-19 and tuberculosis during the pandemic, including Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, and India.

Notably, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a rapid response plan to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis control efforts in September, 2020, which included COVID-19 screening for all patients diagnosed with tuberculosis and tuberculosis screening for all patients with confirmed COVID-19.

(Source: Lancet)

Yet TB detection slipped by a whopping 24% during Covid, as per The Times of India.

What does this mean for communicators?

1) Interlinked programmes for health also means, health communications that is integrated programmatically. That is what will address the last-mile advocacy gap.

2) The impact of Covid on generational poverty is yet to be examined, experts say that crisis events such as World War 2 impacted nutrition levels of children in generations to follow.

3) It could be back to basics for public health communicators with a strong focus on household poverty and nutrition to prevent the TB-Covid-19 coinfection. And as per an Op-Ed piece this week, 'Corporates are shying away from investing in nutrition per Times of India'. 

In other key health news:

1) 1 in 5 cured of Covid contracted diabetes.

2) And in a video, BTS singer Jungkook said he is feeling better after contracting Covid, watch the video here that has clocked over 8 million views!

See you next week, if you want to share your views on the stories here, drop us a comment at @PRmomentIndia

News Curated for PRmoment India by:

Impact Research and Measurement 

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