Fresh measures to deal with emerging challenges in detecting and controlling tuberculosis (TB) in Vietnam are being sought from leading Vietnamese and foreign experts.

At a conference in Ho Chi Minh on November 10-11, Dr. Martina Casenghi from the Doctors without Borders pointed to the significant use of tools that help doctors promptly determine drug-resistant tuberculosis in discovering and controlling the disease.

Timely and accurate diagnose is key to ensure TB suffers are treated appropriately, said Casenghi.

TB is the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent in the world after HIV.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, head of Microbiology Department of Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, said doctors are now using advanced technologies to identify the disease, including the cutting-edge Gene Xpert technology.

However, the costly technology makes it an obstacle to the national TB control programme, which is in short of finances due to declining foreign assistance, Lan said.

She talked about a molecular approach that will come up with faster and more accurate testing results to improve the treatment efficiency.

During the conference, participants also assessed the current medical need in tuberculosis treatment in Vietnam , as well as requirements in researching and developing methods of early diagnosis and treatment.

According to the World Health Organisation, TB killed 1.5 million people out of 9 million-infected patients in the world in 2013. Of the fatal cases, 360,000 were among HIV-positive people.

The organisation noticed that last year, Vietnam had 102,196 TB-infected cases.-VNA