Free X-rays for people at high risk of contracting TB are provided by a project administered by the HCM City Public Health Association with ​Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, the Friends for International Tuberculosis Relief, IMPACT TB, and the EU. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has instructed health officials in all districts to visit households with patients who are at a high risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB) and offer testing and treatment, Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy head of the department, has said.

As part of the national strategy on TB prevention, the recent conference reviewed the last two years of TB prevention and detection activities in HCM City.  

The city aims to have only 20 patients with TB per 100,000 people by 2030, according to Hung.

Over the last two years, 16,500 new incidences of TB were detected each year in HCM City, but the figure only accounted for 80 percent of the real number in the community, he added.

More public-private partnerships on TB detection should be established, he said, adding that private health clinics should be assisted in obtaining vital equipment for TB patients.

To reduce the number of patients who give up on treatment and to avoid drug resistance, more private health clinics should be given assistance in obtaining equipment and medicine, Hung said.

Dr Nguyen Huu Lan, head of HCM City’s TB prevention programme and director of Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, said the city will pilot a programme to reduce the number of TB cases to zero by 2030.

The city now has 14 Gene X-Pert machines which can rapidly diagnose TB at a 90 percent accuracy rate.

Lan said that investment, however, was still low for TB research and prevention as well as treatment.

He said the government should spend more money, and that cooperation between the TB prevention programme and one on HIV/AIDS prevention should be strengthened. - VNA