Tuberculosis (TB) is a re-emerging infectious disease of international health priority. It is particularly worrisome in Africa, which informed the declaration of public health emergency by the World Health Organisation in 2005. In this study, inferences were drawn from the literature, secondary data and empirical observations. The results indicated that TB still remains a major public health challenge, particularly in the developing world where the socio-economic indices are quite appalling. Despite these, there seems to be little or no sincere political will, as the health systems in such settings are still weak (infrastructural decay, poor workforce strength and low level of motivation, poor health financing and poor service delivery) and incapable of coping with this challenge. There are also concerns about surveillance data generated from the developing world as this might have undermined TB control strategies. Therefore, if the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 6C is to be realised, the socio-economic and political determinants of TB, being the root cause should be given adequate attention while simultaneously addressing the challenges confronting the medical approach. In addition, a countrywide prevalence survey is strongly recommended as a first step in understanding the true epidemiology and combating the scourge of TB in these regions. A well conducted national prevalence survey can serve as a better and more reliable source of data for strategic TB planning and resource allocation in Africa and other developing countries.
Key words: Tuberculosis (TB), millennium development goals (MDGs), directly observed therapy short-course (DOTS), surveillance, social determinants, prevalence survey, developed and developing countries.
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