Seeking an end to tuberculosis

Published: 22/03/2011 05:00



Health experts have called for greater political and financial
support to improve the medical system and strengthen community awareness
activities to prevent tuberculosis in Viet Nam.

A doctor examines a
tuberculosis patient at a hospital in the northern province of Ninh Binh. The
country has called for greater support to prevent tuberculosis.
(Photo: VNS)

Nam needs more political commitment to release financial and human resources to
minimise tuberculosis (TB) cases and eliminate the disease by 2030,” said Vice
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen.

was speaking at a workshop on TB prevention held by the Party Central
Committee’s Commission for Communication and Education and the Ministry of
Health (MoH) yesterday, March 22.

survey conducted in 2006 by the MoH revealed that the rate of TB cases was
145/100,000 in Viet Nam, higher than the previous World Health Organisation
estimate of 109/100,000. However, the health sector only managed to treat around
60 per cent of TB patients due to a lack of human resources, especially at local

sector statistics showed that the current number of doctors who specialise in TB
prevention is 1.58/100,000 compared with the general practitioner rate of
12/100,000. There could be a shortage of staff involved in TB prevention for a
number of reasons, including a high risk of infection, low income and even

of the National Lung Hospital Dinh Ngoc Sy said that many provinces haven’t
given due attention to TB prevention, leaving many TB patients misdiagnosed or
unreported, putting them at risk of spreading the infection in their

representative from the TB and Lung Diseases Hospital of central Ha Tinh
Province said that there was a TB staff shortage at provincial and district
levels because there was no preferential policy for staff working in the field
other than an allowance equal to 35 per cent of the minimum wage.

The TB
and Lung Diseases Hospital of central Da Nang City revealed that it had been
unable to hire a TB doctor for the past 10 years because no one wanted the job.

National TB Prevention Programme estimated that Viet Nam needed to mobilise an
additional US$258 million to supplement the $340 million from State and
provincial budgets, and international support for TB prevention during the
2011-15 period.

Successful detection and treatment of TB were vital in the fight to prevent the
disease in Viet Nam, said Sy.

stressed that the political system should give priorities for TB prevention in
the coming years with an aim to strengthen the health system with sufficient
numbers of capable human resources, financing and techniques.

health sector should train more staff to fill the human resource gap in TB
prevention as well as mobilise private medical units into the fight against TB.
The health sector’s TB prevention system and community awareness of TB
prevention should also be strengthened at all levels with an aim to provide
available access to TB patients, said Sy.

According to the National Programme for TB Prevention, TB prevalence was still a
pressing problem in Viet Nam which currently ranks 12 out of 22 countries
struggling with TB prevention throughout the world.

In 2009,
more than 98,000 cases of TB were reported in Viet Nam, including more than
51,000 new patients and 26,000 people seeing reoccurring cases. Each year the
health sector successfully treats more than 91 per cent of patients who are
detected with the disease.

World Health Organisation said that there were more than 9 million cases of TB
reported across the world each year, leading to 2 million deaths. Between 95-98
per cent of TB cases occurred in developing countries and 75 per cent hit people
who were at a working age.

Nam News

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