RIA Novosti (01.24.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
According to Valentina Akysonova, top TB specialist with the Russian Health Ministry, the country ranks 13th in global TB infection rates, with more than 240,000 individuals infected with active TB. She adds that TB currently accounts for 12.2 percent of infectious deaths in Russia. This number has more than doubled throughout the last 15 years. Akysonova notes that the reason behind the growth of infection rates is that many individuals neglect their health and do not have annual physical exams where TB might be detected. Parents also are reluctant to vaccinate their children because they fear side effects, causing the number of children infected with TB to double throughout the past 10 years. Akysonova says a pilot diagnostic program for children with TB is to be launched this year in the Primorye Region. TB infection rates in Vladivostok, the region’s largest city, are 2.5 times greater than Russia’s average, with 3,000 new cases recorded each year.