September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Tuberculosis

Topic: 2024-Tuberculosis
Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Kenna Charbauski

The prevalence of tuberculosis(TB) in modern society is an issue that needs to be solved. TB is a preventable disease, yet it was responsible for 1.3 million deaths in 2023 according to the World Health Organization(WHO). Recent increases in vaccine resistant bacteria have made the disease an even larger threat. Unfortunately TB care is expensive and many cases are not quickly diagnosed. Germany is dedicated to preventing the spread of this disease and equally distributing healthcare resources to susceptible communities.
Starting in 2017, Germany consistently dropped the TB rates within the nation. The decrease rates were 12%, until they slowed due to the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia War. Now statistics show a slight increase in German TB incidence, but this is not because of internal spread. The National Library of Medicine found that the increase is mainly caused by immigrants and refugees. The war between Russia and Ukraine brought an influx of Ukrainian refugees to Germany. Ukraine has a higher prevalence rate of TB and higher resistance rate to multi drugs than Germany. To help reach the goals set by WHO for low incidence countries, Germany is actively using several strategies. In 2001 Germany implemented the Prevention Against Infection Act. This act provides base level guidelines for tracking infectious disease and TB data. The incidence rate in Germany in 2023 was 3.896 cases per 100,000 people. About 63% of these cases have been found to occur in immigrants, so TB screening is mandatory for refugees admitted to community facilities. This decreases rates of transmission and prevents the disease from being spread to more vulnerable people.
Germany has not recommended the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin(BCG) vaccination for TB since 1998. Germany recognizes the effectiveness of BCG in preventing severe disease outbreaks in children, but has not found it to be equally effective in treating adults. Germany is working to develop a better vaccine. Instead Germany promotes TB Preventive Therapy (TPT) among other methods, which can potentially reduce the disease progression by up to 90%.
A key issue in preventing the spread of TB is access to healthcare resources in high incidence countries. Germany recognizes the importance of the BCG vaccine in many of these nations, but urges low incidence nations to share other preventative methods and invest in global healthcare initiatives. Partnership with Non-governmental organizations can be an important step in data collection and distribution of healthcare. This global tragedy is preventable, and Germany hopes through continued improvements in TB screening and early treatment, it can meet the goals set forth by WHO.