Doha, 23 March, 2022: As we continue to live with the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals and continue to work to educate the community about other infectious diseases including Tuberculosis (TB), according to a Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) expert.
With World TB Day marked internationally on 24 March, the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) at HMC continues to work to educate the Qatar community about the disease and work towards its eradication globally.
Medical Director of the CDC, Dr. Muna Al Maslamani said globally TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers.
“International COVID-19 disruptions to health services have impeded diagnosing and treating everyone with active tuberculosis, drug-resistant tuberculosis, multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, latent tuberculosis and HIV co-infection,” Dr. Al Maslamani said. “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.”
Tuberculosis, commonly referred to as TB, is a contagious infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of the body, including the brain and spine. A type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes the disease.
The disease is classified as latent TB or active TB, with signs and symptoms of active TB including a cough that lasts three or more weeks, coughing up blood, chest pain, unintentional weight loss, fatigue and night sweats.
Dr. Al Maslamani said the CDC is the region’s first dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases . “At the CDC, we have a highly specialized clinical team of nurses, physicians and allied health professionals that provide consultations, treatment and support for patients who either have TB or may have been exposed to the disease,” she said.
In 2021 there were a total of 438 admissions to the CDC’s TB wards and 6330 patients referred to specialized TB clinics.
“We continue to expand our services as well as work to educate the community about TB and how it is transmitted,” said Dr. Al Maslamani. “The key to fighting the spread of TB is to remove the stigma attached to the disease through providing education and accurate information about how it can be acquired.”
“The theme for World TB Day 2022 is ‘Invest to End TB’ and this includes not just in treatment and new tools, but also in education and prevention.
We have come a long way in terms of awareness and knowledge about TB but there is still much to be done to raise public awareness of TB both, in Qatar and internationally. The more we educate people about risk factors and prevention, the greater the chance we have to eliminate it,” she said.
For more information about the Communicable Disease Center go to