Child TB patients in Bangladesh rising

Dhaka, Monday, 18 February 2019

Child TB patients in Bangladesh rising

Poriborton Correspondent 7:09 pm, March 23, 2017

Child TB patients in Bangladesh rising

The year 2016 saw a rise in the number of tuberculosis patient detection, particularly the child TB patients, experts say sharing the latest data.

In 2015, 7,984 children were diagnosed with TB, while the number rose to 9,291 in 2016.

In percentage account, child TB patient detection in 2016 was 4.3 per cent. In 2015, it was 4 percent.

In 2016 again, the total number of patients, including children detected with TB, stood at 2,23, 922. Of them, 9,700 were multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB patients.

Experts revealed the data at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club on Thursday on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day 2017 to be observed on Friday.

The use of upgraded technologies and machines enables health professionals to diagnose more patients with the infection, which has caused the rise in the number, they said.

National TB Control Programme (NTP) under the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Brac and other partner organisations jointly arranged the press conference, aiming to share the successes and experiences from the TB control activities as well as the future planning in this regard.

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released slogan for the day is 'Unite efforts to leave no one behind'.

NTP line director Dr Rouseli Haq was present as the chief guest at the press conference. Key presentation was delivered by DR-TB chief executive Dr Nazis Arefin Saki.

Deputy World Health Organisation representative Dr Edwin Salvador, national professional officer of WHO in Bangladesh Dr Vikarunnesa Begum, country project director of Management Sciences for Health Dr Oscar Cordon, senior infectious disease adviser of USAID in Bangladesh Dr Charles Lerman and programme head of Brac TB and Malaria Control Programme Dr Shayla Islam, among others, spoke at the event.

A press statement was also presented by BRAC's senior sector specialist for TB Dr Md Masud Rana.

Referring to the WHO Global TB Report for 2016, the experts said in Bangladesh, every year 45 patients in every one lakh people die of TB, while 225 new TB patients in every one lakh are diagnosed with the infection.

They also spoke about the successes of TB treatment in Bangladesh, saying 94 per cent patients diagnosed with lung TB with germs in cough get cured.

They said Bangladesh is ahead of the world in treating MDR-TB patients with 70 percent success rate, compared with the world average of 52 percent.

According to the targets Bangladesh government has set, the country will lower the rate of TB-related deaths by 95 percent and the rate of TB prevalence by 90 percent by 2035 than that occurred in 2015.

To achieve these targets, 27 NGOs are working with the government on the lead.

Dr Najis Arefin Saki pointed out that the use of upgraded technologies has made it possible to diagnose ever more patients, taking the current rate to 61 percent.

In 2015, the rate of detection was 57 per cent. GO-NGO collaboration brought many commendable successes in TB treatment in the country, although 39 percent of the patients remain still missing, owing to different factors.

Dr Rouseli Haq said 'Since 1993 NTP has been working successfully, as a result of which we are now able to diagnose 77 lung TB patients with tuberculosis germs in cough out of every 1 lakh people. Out of the diagnosed TB patients, 94 percent are getting cured.'

Dr Shayla Islam said it is highly necessary now to scale up our operations in urban areas. High population density in the cities makes TB patient detection somewhat difficult. "We are now establishing a network with the private physicians to strengthen the referral system, which we hope will add pace to the whole process.'

The NTP, BRAC and other partners will also organise a rally on Friday marking the World TB Day in the city.