The discovery of the causative organism of Tuberculosis (TB) dates back to 1882 by Robert Koch and described the isolation of the tubercle bacilli. Since then, a large number of Mycobacterium species responsible for causing pulmonary and extra pulmonary infections have been identified. Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease caused by a pathogen belonging to the species Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Infection is spread through aerosols released in the air when a contagious person speaks, coughs, sneezes or sings. TB and poverty come together to perpetuate a vicious cycle and contributes to its spread as people are forced to share crowded living quarters and are often in overall poor health. Simultaneously, costs associated with diagnosis and treatment creates further hardship, both for patients and their families including their children. Worldwide, TB creates hundreds of thousands of orphans, increases child malnutrition and forces many children to leave school in order to work and care for the family. Tuberculosis presents a major threat to the health of the population of Zambia. It is one of the leading causes of morbidity, accounting for 13% of all adult hospital deaths and being one of the top ten leading causes of hospital admissions. Tb is curable if detected early but delayed diagnosis result in disease progression and spreads rapidly from person to person. Failure to identify cases early by health providers and also inability to adhere to treatment results into problems and untold misery.
Key words: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, tubercle bacilli, aerosols, Zambia.
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