The Ministry of Health will hold a conference on Wednesday, 23.3.2016

World TB Day will take place on 24.03.16. The Department of Tuberculosis and HIV will hold a national conference on "Dealing with drug-resistant and most drug-resistant Tuberculosis (MDR / XDR) – around the world and in Israel" on Wednesday 23.3.2016 at the Convention Center in Ramat Efall- attached hereby you will find an invitation to the event.
The World Health Organization estimates that the number of drug-resistant TB patients is about 480000 people. In Israel only a few cases are diagnosed each year. However, the Ministry of Health and the different healthcare services make efforts to diagnose monitor and treat these patients as part of the national plan to eradicate tuberculosis.
Taking TB medication sporadically, can cause bacterial strains that do not respond (resistant) to two key drugs for treating tuberculosis: Isoniazid and Rifampicin or other drugs.
Worldwide reports exist of cases of tuberculosis resistant to most currently available drugs (XDR-TB – Extremely drug resistant). This severely limits the treatment options for patients infected with this bacterium. This phenomenon exists in most countries and Israel. In Israel isolated cases of TB strains that meet the definition of extreme drug resistance, have been identified.
The department of Tuberculosis and AIDS, in collaboration with national laboratories and centers for TB diagnosis and treatment of TB continue to monitor developments regarding the world and Israel, to be able to meet the highest standards.
These efforts are bearing fruit and the proof is that in 2013, the World Health Organization noted that the Israeli plan to treat TB is a success story ".
These issues and dealing with other challenges will be discussed at the conference TB Day 2016, attended by a representative of the World Health Organization, Dr. Dennis Falzon.

TB – History and epidemiology

On 24 March 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered a bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). At that time the disease caused the death of one in seven people in Europe and America. Despite the high hopes about the discovery of the bacterium, since then at least 200 million people worldwide have died of tuberculosis. Since the ’80s we have witnessed an increase in tuberculosis morbidity in developed countries and the rest of the world. In 1993, the world health organization declared for the first time in its history TB as a global emergency. Israel as the rest of the world, take these threat very seriously. Due to the increase of tuberculosis in the country, the Minister of Health declared TB a "contagious dangerous disease" according to the Public Health Act (1940).


Characteristics of TB treatment

In order to recover completely from the disease, the patient has to take multiple antibiotics for six months at least. Such treatment will result in a complete cure in over 90% of patients. Non-completion of treatment may result in the resumption of the disease and the propagation of the bacteria. Irregular treatment leads to the development of drug-resistant strains and the risk of propagation. In order to ensure the completion of treatment, the recommended method by the WHO and adopted by the Ministry of Health, is “The Directly Observed Treatment Short-course”.
Data about TB worldwide and in Israel: World Health Organization estimates that in 2014 there were 9,6 million people with tuberculosis, especially in Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and in the western region of the Pacific Ocean.
In 2014 the Tuberculosis and AIDS Department at the Ministry of Health registered 366 new TB patients in Israel. Most of the new patients (about 82%) were born abroad. Out of those patients, 50% were people who are not citizens of Israel. The incidence in the general population in 2014 is 4.4 per 100,000 people.
Since 1997, a national program has been developed by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the four HMOs in Israel, to eradicate TB. The Department of Tuberculosis and AIDS manages the program in collaboration with a number of bodies: nine specialized centers for diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, two unique laboratories and the tuberculosis department at the Schmuel Ha’Rofe hospital. The main part of the program is providing an anti-tubercular medication under direct supervision.
District Health Offices, in collaboration with other entities inside and outside the Ministry of Health, act to identify ill people between Israeli citizens and residents who are not citizens in Israel. Many procedures are implemented in a large number of issues related to the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis including current procedures on how to address the incidence of tuberculosis in general hospitals and places where there is a high proportion of population at risk.

Tuberculosis cases by place of birth, Israel 1989-2014


World TB Day 2016 - Coping with drug-resistant tuberculosis around the world and in Israel