Thailand ranked by WHO as one in top 22 high-burden countries for TB
BANGKOK (NNT) — Thailand is ranked as one in 22 of the World Health Organization high-burden countries for tuberculosis (TB), with 120,000 persons reported with TB infection each year.
Permanent Secretary for Public Health MD Paichit Warachit cited that WHO ranked Thailand as one of the top 22 highest TB burden countries with 120,000 TB patients, 16% of those were also HIV infected. He elaborated that 44,000 of all patients were at contagious period and there were 13,000 deaths each year.
Problems for TB control derived from the spread of HIV and the number of patients getting full course treatment is only 83%, below WHO minimum rate of 85%, including the increase of TB infected alien workers entering the country.
The Public Health Ministry has a policy to involve local administration and other affiliated hospitals in TB control. Using different pills for the treatment in both adults and children is another direction, while WHO has supported liquid drugs, which are not produced in Thailand,, worth three million THB, for the use in children.
The Government will cooperate with other countries for the research and development of medicine, vaccine and new technology, aiming to heighten potential of TB prevention. Within the past two year the Ministry has urged all provinces to survey people at risk of TB, such as the groups of HIV patients, inmates, those with diabetes and other chronic diseases. TB infected patients thus have been registered at almost 90% at present. With a comprehensive data and control program, health authorities hope to get Thailand off the list of high TB burden countries in the near future.