Bangladesh working to end TB scourge: Nasim

15 Mar 2017, 20:05

Online Desk
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Dhaka: Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim has said Bangladesh is working jointly with WHO and other partners to end the scourge of tuberculosis in the country.

"Our government stands committed to ending TB in the country. We’ll work jointly with WHO and partners to achieve the ambitious ‘End TB’ targets," Nasim told a ministerial meeting towards ending TB in the South-East Asia region.

He said, "We understand that by reaching ‘End TB’ targets, we’ll save 1.2 million precious lives and prevent about 5 million TB cases."

Ministers, officials and health activists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor Leste apart from representatives from World Health Organization participated in the meeting held in New Delhi on Wednesday, said a press release.

Nasim said Bangladesh has maintained very good "basic TB control services" with reasonable case detection and excellent treatment outcomes.

There has been a consistent increase in case notification, especially among new and relapse cases, since 2013.

Bangladesh, he said, is the first country in the region that introduced shorter treatment regimen for MDR-TB and is achieving high cure rate for MDR-TB patients (75 percent).

National Strategic Plan for TB Control for 2018-2022 has been updated in line with ‘End TB Strategy’.

Nasim said in spite of progress in the fight against TB, some challenges remain.

He said 40 percent of all TB cases still remain undiagnosed: mandatory TB case notification is yet to be fully operationalised while detection of MDR-TB cases needs to be increased along with increase in childhood TB detection and management.

The health minister also referred to Bangladesh's recent success in overall health situation.

He said Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in the health sector, especially in child and maternal mortality reduction, poverty reduction and increasing life expectancy, under the present pro-people government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

These achievements are the results of wise planning, careful implementation, and good monitoring and evaluation of the health interventions, he said, adding: "Our goal to establish a 'Digital Bangladesh' has been achieved more markedly in the health sector."