A medical worker gives advice on TB to residents (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City is expanding the “Proper Care” programme to some other districts in 2017 in an effort to accelerate the eradication of tuberculosis (TB), said chairman of the city’s Public Health Association Dr. Le Truong Giang.

Giang told participants at a meeting, which was held on March 28 in response to World Tuberculosis Day (March 24), that about 20,000 new TB cases are reported in HCM City each year.

Apart from the “Proper Care” programme, HCM City will also take more measures such as applying new testing techniques to improve TB diagnosis capacity, paying special attention to TB in children to give treatment and curb transmission, and connecting public and private healthcare systems in anti-TB activities, he added.

Director of Go Vap district’s preventive medicine centre Dr. Nguyen Trung Hoa said his centre has piloted the “Proper Care” programme since 2014. This programme aims to increase the detection of TB cases, reduce the abandonment of treatment, raise the success rate of treatment, and improve public awareness of the disease.

After two years, nearly 600,000 people have gained access to the programme with 136,000 of them were screened for TB. A total of 565 new cases were detected.

Notably, the rate of TB patients abandoning treatment has dropped sharply from 7 percent in the past to 0.8 percent at present, Hoa said, adding that the widespread network of advisors who meet and give advice to local residents has become an important link in cutting down the treatment abandonment rate.

HCM City is striving to reduce the numbers of TB patients and deaths to below 131 and 10 in every 100,000 residents by 2020, respectively. It also hopes to control the rate of multidrug-resistant TB patients at below 5 percent of the total new TB cases.-VNA