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TB remains a Public health problem

by Public Health Update
Tuberculosis still continues to remain a public health problem in Nepal, with the major challenge being reaching the unreached and finding missing cases. According to National Tuberculosis Centre‚ there were 37,025 notified cases of TB who underwent DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course) treatment in fiscal year 2014-15. However, around 10,000 TB patients miss their treatment annually. At a programme organised to mark World Tuberculosis Day today, Health Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha said the government was committed to achieving the goal of eliminating TB. 

Himalayan News Service,Kathmandu, March 24

World Tuberculosis Day is marked every year on March 24. Marking the day, the World Health Organisation has called for new commitments and new action in the global fight against tuberculosis,

which WHO describes as one of the world’s top infectious killers.There has been tremendous progress in recent years in fight against tuberculosis, but with 20,000 new sputum positive cases and 5,000-7,000 deaths every year in Nepal according to NTC data, it is still an ongoing epidemic. According to WHO, in 2013, nine million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died.According to NTC, 45 per cent of total population are infected with TB and 40,000 people get TB every year in Nepal.Officials at NTC said they were working with an objective to reduce human suffering and socio-economic burden resulting from TB.Last year, NTC launched two mobile vans in bid to reach the unreached and according to an official, the project has been successful in finding hidden cases. The target population included slum dwellers, prisoners, factory workers, people living with HIV and family members of TB patients. According to Health Research and Social Development Forum, last year, 103,867 were screened, of which 14,623 were microscopically tested and 6,159 were tested using Xpert. As many as 654 patients were diagnosed for TB and 66 for Multi-Drug Resistant TB during the screening.

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