Yorkshire city has one of highest rates of TB in country

Bradford has the highest rate of tuberculosis disease (TB) in the region and one of the highest rates in the country - a report has revealed.

The three year average rate of reported new cases of TB per year per 100,000 in Bradford is 36.0 for 2009-11 and 33.01 for 2010-12.

This corresponds with 15.2 for 2009-11 and 15.1 for 2010-12 for England as a whole and 12.6 for 2009-11 and 12.0 for 2010-12 for Yorkshire and Humber, according to figures from Public Health England (PHE).

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In a bid to tackle the problem of latent TB, a dormant form of TB infection, in the Bradford population, Bradford Council and PHE are supporting a pilot latent TB infection screening programme for new entrants from high risk countries.

“It aims to understand options to improve uptake of new entrant screening, and optimise treatment of latent TB infection in new entrants at risk of tuberculosis,” according to a report from the local authority’s director of public health Anita Parkin.

The council is also working with PHE and the NHS partners to improve the way TB services are managed and to consider how best the recommendations from the soon to be released Collaborative Tuberculosis Strategy for England 2015-2020 can be implemented locally.

Councillor Amir Hussain, portfolio holder for health at Bradford Council, said : “We are continuing to work to reduce the rate of tuberculosis in the district alongside Public Health England, the NHS and other health groups by further improving screening and the tuberculosis service. By working together in partnership across agencies we have the best chance of dealing with the specific challenges with deprivation and the population of Bradford.”

A number of factors contribute to high TB rates in the Bradford district, says the council, including high level of deprivation, poor housing, overcrowded living conditions and poor nutrition.

A council spokesman said: “In Bradford and Airedale, TB reflects a significant health inequality with a strong link to deprivation and higher rates of incidence in homeless, substance misuses and migrant populations.”