1.25 lakh TB cases missing in country: experts

DHAKA, Mar 23, 2017 (BSS) - Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the major public health problems in the country with nearly 1,25,000 TB patients missing, health experts said here today.

They said 2,22,600 TB cases were registered in 2016 in the country with the detection rate being 61 percent and missing rate 39 percent.

Urban TB control has been a major challenge for Bangladesh as urban setting is more complex than rural setting, they told a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.

National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP) of Directorate General and Health Service (DGHS) in cooperation with different local and international organizations organized the press conference on the occasion of the World TB Day tomorrow.

Line Director of TB and Leprosy of DGHS Dr Rouseli Haq, Deputy WHO Representative Dr Edwin Salvador, National Professional Officer (TB control) Dr Vikarunnessa, Country Project Director of Management Sciences for Health Oscar Cordon and senior infectious diseases advisor of US Agency for International Development Dr Charles Lerman, among others, addressed the press conference.

Medical Officer (focal person DR-TB) of NTP Dr Nazis Arefin Saki made a presentation on "Tuberculosis control in Bangladesh: an overview".

To mark the World TB Day, NTP along with different organizations will bring out a rally from Shahbah to Matshay Bhaban from 7.30am tomorrow.

Dr Shayla said that alongside poor people in urban areas, a significant number of people of middle and higher middle-income groups are suffering from TB. "We have to detect missing TB cases to free the country from the diseases."

TB is an infectious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, Dr Nazi said, "Without treatment, the death rate from TB is high. It was found that without treatment, about 70 percent of the people with sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB die within 10 years."

Bangladesh has attained 94 percent cure rate of TB treatment against the global target of 85 percent and it also has witnessed success in case detection of the disease, he added.

Other health experts said despite achieving a remarkable success in detection and treatment of tuberculosis (TB), it is still a major public health problem in Bangladesh as health experts attributed the reason to lack of awareness and rapid urbanization.

Bangladesh is one of the 22 high-burden TB countries in the world and the estimated incidence and prevalence rates for all forms of tuberculosis in 2012 were 225 and 434 per 100,000 population respectively, they added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)