Anti-TB for community health
17:19 | 18/03/2012

VGP - It is imperative to consider tuberculosis (TB) prevention and control a socio-economic development target, with the aim of eradicating this disease by 2030, said Deputy PM Nguyễn Thiện Nhân.

Deputy PM Nguyễn Thiện Nhân visits a patient at the Central Lung Hospital, Hà Nội, March 18, 2012 - Photo: VGP

The Deputy PM made the statement at a March 18 meeting in response to World Tuberculosis Day (March 24) and a walking program entitled “Anti-TB for Community Health”.

The events were held by the Việt Nam Red Cross Society (VRCS) in collaboration with the National TB Control Program (NTCP), drawing the participation of more than 5,000 people.

In his speech at the meeting, Deputy PM Nhân said the NTCP has obtained initial results such as building a nationwide TB control network, successfully detecting and treating many TB patients. However, the TB situation in Việt Nam still poses challenges as the number of cases of TB/HIV and medicine resistant TB remains high. In addition, the program has not yet attracted enough qualified medical workers and is not yet fully equipped with essential medical facilities, while expenditures for TB control are mainly dependent on international aid.

The Deputy PM called on relevant ministries and sectors, social and economic organizations and all the people to be active in the fight against TB for the health of the community.

Việt Nam ranks 12th among 22 countries with the highest number of TB patients, and 14th among 27 countries having a high burden of medicine resistant TB in the world.

The country has approximately 180,000 people infected with TB and nearly 30,000 die of the disease annually.

As many as 100,000 TB patients are diagnosed each year and 92% of them are cured. It is worth noting that the number of medicine resistant TB patients is estimated at 5,000-6,000 in Việt Nam.

The Central Lung Hospital has attributed the objective challenge of the NTCP to the high number of TB/HIV infections and medicine resistant TB cases, the shortage of staff in charge of TB control and a public-private coordination mechanism. Aside from this, the declaration of infections under the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases is not yet implemented properly.

The national program will continue to intensify early detection measures to treat the disease more effectively in the future. Việt Nam aims to halve the number of TB patients by 2015 and keep the number of medicine resistant TB cases to no more than that of 2000.

On the occasion, the NTCP, VRCS, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Youth Union launched many practical activities to respond to World TB Day, such as issuing a set of “For TB free Việt Nam” stamps, organizing a writing contest on TB and a youth discussion on anti-TB activities.

At the meeting, 500 people donated blood for the health of TB patients and the community.

Right after the event, Deputy PM Nhân visited and presented gifts to patients at the Central Lung Hospital.

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