Giving treatment to TB patients (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The National Lung Hospital, the National Programme against Tuberculosis (TB) and the Patients Support Foundation to End Tuberculosis (PASTB) and the National Humanitarian Portal 1400 have launched a text message campaign to support TB patients.

From March 3 to the end of May 9, 2019, mobile service subscribers can text TB to 1402 to contribute 18,000 VND (0.78 USD) to the fund.

According to Assistant Prof. Nguyen Viet Nhung, Director of the National Lung Hospital, each message will provide funds to help TB patients overcome the disease and reduce infection risk in the community.

Ending TB would mean saving 12,000 lives each year and ease the worry of infection for hundreds of thousands of people, he stressed.

The National Programme against Tuberculosis recorded 124,000 new TB cases in 2017. TB deaths in the year were estimated at 12,000, mostly in undetected and untreated people.

Globally, TB is the second leading cause of deaths among infectious diseases, killing about 1.6 million people each year.

Vietnam currently ranks 16th out of 30 countries in terms of the number of cases of the disease per year and the amount of money spent treating it.

Last year, a similar campaign received 23,232 messages worth more than 418 million VND (17,974 USD), which was used to help some 100 poor TB patients pay health insurance, hospital fees and for meals.-VNA