Report Shows Parts of London Have Higher Tuberculosis Rates Than Rwanda and Iraq

October 27th, 2015
Report Shows Parts of London Have Higher Tuberculosis Rates Than Rwanda and Iraq

A new study has revealed that rates of tuberculosis are higher in some parts of London than Rwanda and Iraq.

A report from the London Assembly revealed that there are high rates of tuberculosis in a third of boroughs within Greater London. This is classified as more than 40 cases per 100,000 people. Some wards within boroughs, including Hounslow and Newham, Harrow, Ealing and Brent, have an incidence of 150 per 100,000 people, which is higher than figures for Rwanda and Iraq.

The report revealed that people living in prison, the homeless, those with drug abuse issues and refugees had a higher risk of tuberculosis. Authors were keen to point out that this disease is not restricted to migrants and those coming from outside the UK as the number of UK-born individuals affected by TB has risen.

Newham topped the list of TB incidence with 107 cases per 100,000 people. This is significantly higher than the UK average, which is just 13 cases and the incidence in Rwanda and Iraq, which have figures of 69 and 45 respectively.

In response to the study, The London Assembly is encouraging the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to improve education and make Londoners more aware of TB.

Chair of the London Assembly’s health committee, Dr Onkar Sahota, said that at the moment, preventative measures are not always enforced and awareness of the disease is low, particularly in some areas of the city.

The BCG vaccination is recommended in the UK. However, 8 of the 24 London boroughs do not offer it to patients and the assembly has questioned this move.

Symptoms of TB include a persistent cough, coughing up blood, unexplained weight loss, fever, tiredness and chest pain.

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