A human rights-based approach to tuberculosis diagnosis


We read with concern the piece by van Deun et al. who have emphasized the importance of smear microscopy for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis. Despite recent high-level meetings on TB elimination, low expectations are common in the field of TB care. Much of this defeatism is cloaked in the mantle of public health responsibility. Shortcomings of the ‘public health approach’ underpinning the global response to TB in the past half century are readily apparent: TB is the leading infectious killer in adults, and a serious infection that has contributed to the growing crisis created by antimicrobial resistance.

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