The challenge of TB for the Peruvian Society of Pneumology

Dr Alfredo Guerreros, Peruvian Society of Pneumology

27 June, 2016

The Peruvian Society of Pneumology is the oldest scientific community of physicians dedicated to respiratory medicine in South America. It is an 80-year-old institution. It starts fighting against tuberculosis (TB) - an ancestral disease that everyone could see in the mummies of the ancient Paracas culture.

Our origins:

In that way, the old Phthisiologist (referring to a person who treats Phthisis pulmonalis) became in the modern Pneumologist or Pulmologist that worked in more and more fields in this area. Peru is an important mining country, and therefore the field of occupational medicine is a highly valuable one. We also experience an incredibly high prevalence of asthma, showed in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Study. Our Society is organised in compliance of regulations from the Medical College of Peru. It has some different characteristics from the others societies, for example we have a Past-President Council that is called on for some special situations; and the Ladies Committee and Social Support that do extraordinary caring work with poor and at-risk people.

Our mission:

The objective of the Society has been directed to Continuing Medical Education (CME), knowledge diffusion, and medical research and to meet these aims, we organise several activities that attract pulmonologists and others medical specialists also.

The fight against TB:

In accordance with the creation of our Society, TB is the disease that distinguishes the Peruvian pneumologist. We have many activities to help fight against it. TB has a high mobility: 101 positive smear per 100,000 habitants. The failure to primary scheme treatment is 4%. There were 500 cumulative cases of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) up until 2014.

We make intensive efforts to find information and do research on this disease. The uptake of the old pneumology training programme was inefficient and poor. There are new programmes, however, the 400 specialists who work on this topic are largely based in Lima and these numbers are not sufficient for 33 million people living in Peru.

Our Society works together with the National Strategy TB Team of the Secretary for Health of Peru in the dissemination of knowledge to the professionals working to fight TB through different methods, such as journals, research, meetings, and more.

The society has planned courses and workshops to share the best knowledge in the field and to aid the work of the current and future pulmonologist. We have come a long way already but actually, there are still enormous challenges ahead of us.

Read more about TB policy developments/ERS TB focused projects

Respiratory Worldwide aims to stimulate communication and interaction between national and regional respiratory societies and ERS. These articles have not been (peer) reviewed and are not official ERS content.