100,000 cases of tuberculosis in Brazil &&

August 14, 1996

100,000 cases of tuberculosis in Brazil

In the 1980s, registered cases of tuberculosis were declining 4% per year in Brazil. Between 1990 and 1993 the registered decrease came to a standstill and since 1993 numbers have again begun to increase.

Rio de Janeiro is the state with the greatest occurrence of the disease. According to the Ministry of Health, there are 126.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the state. Ministry data show that there are approximately 80,000 cases in the country and estimate that probably another 20,000 have gone unregistered.

The principle causes for the renewed spread of the disease are seen to be under-nourishment, AIDs and the state of abandonment of the public health system.

Social conditions also help in the spread of the disease. According to Rosa Maria Barros Soares, who works with a State Secretariat of Health Team accompanying tuberculosis cases in Sao Paulo, "There is an absurd population per house. On average there are six per house. But there are cases of 20 people sharing one or two rooms. In such conditions it is obvious that the disease can spread more easily." [From Servico Brasileiro de Justica e Paz.]