A seminar discussing the enhancement of the Public-Private Mix (PPM) model in tuberculosis and HIV prevention in Vietnam was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 1.

With rising demand for treatment at private medical facilities, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) started a PPM project five years ago in efforts to support the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP) in four initial provinces and cities, Hai Phong, Nghe An, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City.

The project has proven progress by raising the number of health facilities participating in the project from 210 in 2007 to 1,100 in 2013 along with helping the localities gradually address challenges such as tuberculosis and HIV co-infection and drug-resistant TB.

It has also helped increase case detection through the connection of private and public facilities.

With its success, the model was multiplied in more than 20 provinces and cities nationwide.

However, the project is facing difficulties, namely the maintenance of the private services’ involvement, the lack of connection between private facilities with public ones, and a shortage of human resources in maintaining PPM operations, according to Nguyen Tuyet Nga, the project’s manager.

About 1.2-1.5 million people die from TB every year in the world and drug-resistant TB is common in almost all countries, the World Health Organisation reports.

In Vietnam, there are 17,000 deaths from the disease each year, ranking 12th among 22 countries in the world with the highest levels of TB infections.-VNA