Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam should strengthen capacity building for its tuberculosis (TB) research network towards eliminating the disease, heard a workshop in Hanoi on September 17.

The establishment of a national research network in the field is needed since the proportion of TB cases in Vietnam remains high, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Xuyen said.

She added that TB prevention receives special attention from the Vietnamese Party, Government and Ministry of Health with the national strategy on TB prevention and control through 2020 and with a vision towards 2030 approved by the Government in 2014.

The strategy sets the target of reducing 30 percent of TB patients and 40 percent of fatalities between 2016 and 2020, while suggesting a number of inclusive measures, including the use of new technology for early detection and treatment, and support policy.

She called on domestic and foreign scientists to put forth measures to eradicate TB in Vietnam.

According to Director of the National Lung Hospital Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung, Vietnam ranks 12 out of the 22 countries worldwide having the highest rate of TB patients.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that 17,000 people died of TB in Vietnam in 2014 and 190,000 people are suffering from TB. About 4 percent of new TB patients are multidrug-resistant while the rate for those under treatment is 23 percent.

On the occasion, the National Lung Hospital set up the lung and tuberculosis research cooperation centre (VICTORY), which is responsible for building and developing TB research network and supporting medical studies in Vietnam.

TB is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It most commonly affects the lungs and the disease is transmitted from person to person via bacteria from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease, according to the WHO.

The symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.-VNA