[health-vn] Survey shows tuberculosis worse than past estimations
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Tue Mar 31 11:12:14 EST 2009
Survey shows tuberculosis worse than past estimations
HA NOI — A recently-released survey shows that the number of Tuberculosis
patients in Viet Nam is larger than the World Health Organisation (WHO)
previously thought, according to health officials.
The first-ever national TB prevalence survey conducted in 2006-07 showed that
the rate of smear-tested positive TB cases in Viet Nam was 114 out of 100,000.
The WHO estimated in the 1990s that the rate was 90/100,000 people.
"The TB rate in Viet Nam accounts for 1.67 per cent of the population, unchanged
from the last decade, despite efforts from the Government and health sector,"
said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen.
"Tuberculosis is still a major health issue in Viet Nam. The country still ranks
12th of 22 countries with high TB burdens worldwide," Xuyen said.
Viet Nam has about 150,000 new TB cases of all types and 20,000 deaths each year.
Nguyen Thi Phuong, a war invalid in Ba Vi District, Ha Noi, has been
hospitalised six times at the National Hospital for Tuberculosis and Lung
Diseases (NHTLD) since her first positive diagnosis with TB in 2001.
"I used to see good results from treatments in the hospital. However, my TB
became more serious after I was discharged from the hospital and continued the
home-based self-treatment course," she says.
Phuong is one of around 5,000 new patients diagnosed with the drug-resistant
form of TB in Viet Nam.
"Many TB patients gave up their treatments because each course lasts for about
eight months and most of the drugs were antibiotics," said NHTLD’s head of TB
Recurrence Department Doan Van Hien.
To make matters worse, the health sector can diagnose and treat only 95,000 to
97,000 TB cases each year, accounting for only 85 per cent of the TB patients in
the community, according to director of NHTLD Dinh Ngoc Si.
"It is estimated that it will take Viet Nam five to 10 years to control the
disease," said Si.
According to the national TB prevention programme, the health sector will focus
its activities on detection activities and successful treatments for TB patients.
TB prevention activities will begin at healthcare units at grassroots levels,
with priorities given to human resource development, facility upgrades and
community programme strengthening in communities. — VNS
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