New tuberculosis study coming in 2017
HOPING to confirm a suspected slight decline in tuberculosis cases, the National TB Program will launch a prevalence study next year, the first since 2010.
The country ranks among the 30 worst nations in the world in terms of TB burden and the mortality rate is 49 out of every 100,000 residents, according to 2015 data from the World Health Organization (WHO). TB is an infectious disease that most commonly impacts the lungs. Due to multiple-drug resistance and extreme drug resistance, combating the bacterial infection has proved challenging.
But by studying case reports from 1994 to 2015, experts have tracked what appears to be a slow reduction in TB cases starting in 2012, National TB Program manager U Si Thu Aung said at a TB symposium held on November 19.
“We do not know if there is really a reduction in TB cases as we do not have a full picture of all the TB cases,” he said. “Thus, we will prepare a National Prevalence Survey for next year. We are currently preparing for it. We conducted the third survey in 2009-10.”
The last TB study revealed a prevalence rate three times higher than the global average and one of the highest in Asia.
Union Minister for Health and Sports U Myint Htwe said the government has an operational plan for fighting TB. They will conduct national monitoring of the disease through an evaluation bank, he said.
“We need to promote a mix of public and private organisations, not only to stop TB but for many other diseases, both communicable and non-communicable,” he said. “It is very important for us. We will always work in collaboration with local NGOs, international NGOs, UN agencies, organisations, associations, foundations and many others with like-minded energy.”
Myanmar Medical Association MDR-TB project program coordinator U Khin Swe Win highlighted the importance of awareness about TB, not just for medical professionals but for the public at large.
TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, according to the WHO. The organisation aims to end the TB epidemic by 2030.