Tuberculosis is currently one of the most important public health threats worldwide. Though it has registered a significant decrease of the number of cases in the past 10 years, Romania is still first in the European Union as far as tuberculosis incidence is concerned. Every year, around 1,500 people die and some 20,000 get infected with tuberculosis, most cases being among active population (15-54 years of age).
During the past years, Romania has been facing a new public health challenge, the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant (XDR-TB). The number of new MDR-TB cases in Romania is estimated by the World Health Organization at around 1,000 each year. The resistance to the most important TB drugs turns tuberculosis from a curable disease into a hardly curable or even incurable one. Moreover, TB diagnosis in Romania is done, in most cases, with delay, which increases the risk of contagion and of developing more severe forms of the disease.
Due to the lack of patient support through adequate social measures and because of TB-drugs management difficulties, only one in five MDR-TB patients get cured, thus increasing the epidemic risk.
Romania is currently on the verge to become a TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB infection outbreak in Europe.