Laboratory technicians examine TB tests at a hospital in Vietnam. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - HCM City has targeted testing at least 17,045 additional people for tuberculosis (TB), including 7,840 new patients with pulmonary TB, next year, according to the city’s TB Prevention and Control Programme.

The programme also set a target for testing sputa of 128,590 people, or 1.58 percent of the city’s total population, experts said at a conference on TB prevention and control held recently in the city.

Dr Dang Minh Duong of Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, which is in charge in carrying out the programme, said the city in 2017 tested sputa of 93,000 people to detect TB.

The number of new patients with TB totalled 16,452 in 2017, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to 2016. Of these, 7,778 pulmonary TB patients were admitted for treatment this year, an increase of 8.5 percent compared to 2016.

Duong said the city cured 88.4 percent of patients with pulmonary TB in 2017.

Many TB patients do not show symptoms and can be dangerous sources for transmission.

Moreover, many patients with TB give up their treatment, leading to drug-resistant TB.

Around 24 percent of TB patients in the city have drug-resistant tuberculosis and multi drug-resistant tuberculosis, he said, adding that the country has around 3,000 patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Hospitals in the city in 2017 admitted 282 children with TB in 2017, including 47 positive for pulmonary TB, an increase of 74 percent compared to 2016.

Dr Nguyen Thanh Mai of the Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital said that public and private health facilities at all levels in TB prevention and control would continue to increase the number of TB patients to be tested and treated.

The cooperation will help the city reach its goal to be free of TB, Mai said.

Duong said the city would install more machines for TB tests at eight sites in districts 1, 7, 10, Binh Tan, Hoc Mon, Phu Nhuan, Tan Phu and Thu Duc in 2018.-VNA