It is necessary to ensure a sufficiency of medicine for preventing and treating tuberculosis (TB) at any cost, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

The Deputy PM the remark at a conference to promote the implementation of the National Strategy for TB Prevention and Control by 2020 with a vision to 2030, which was held by the Ministry of Health in Hanoi on March 21.

Dam praised the efforts made by doctors, physicians and medical workers in fighting against the disease in the recent times, and thanked international organisations for their support for Vietnam in the field.

He stressed that the health sector should pay more attention to TB prevention in rural areas because more than 70 percent of sufferers are farmers.

Approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on March 17, 2014, the strategy emphasises the core role of the health sector, as well as the involvement of the entire political system and private sectors in fighting the dangerous disease.

Its aims are to reduce the number of tuberculosis suffers to under 131 people per 100,000 and the fatality rate to fewer than 10 people per 100,000. The number of people suffering multidrug-resistant TB is hoped to be kept at under 5 percent of newly diagnosed patients.

To realise the targets, campaigns will be held to raise public awareness of the disease and introduce preventive measures so that sufferers will seek treatment without delay.

Vietnam will also work closely with regional and international countries in order to swiftly detect and control the spread of tuberculosis across border areas.

Every year, Vietnam diagnoses 130,000 new TB patients and 3,500 others suffering from multidrug-resistant TB. Some 18,000 people die of the disease in the country annually.-VNA