Vietnam is expected to control tuberculosis (TB) with below 20 patients among 100,000 by 2030, towards eliminating the disease.

It is part of the national TB prevention strategy until 2020, with a vision to 2030 recently approved by the Prime Minister.

By late 2015, the country expects that the numbers of TB sufferers and deaths are 187 and 18 per 100,000. By 2020, the respective number is 131 and 10 and the rate of multidrug-resistant TB patients will be kept at below 5 percent.

To realise the goal, Vietnam will review and amend policies, raise public awareness of concerned laws, and offer medical check-ups and treatment, especially in remote and mountainous areas.

On top of this, it will join efforts with countries worldwide to detect, treat and curb the cross-border spread of TB. Training courses both at home and abroad will be held while the enforcement of laws on TB prevention will be strengthened.

At a conference assessing TB prevention in 2013, it was reported that Vietnam ranks 12 th among 22 countries most burdened with TB.

Every year, Vietnam sees 130,000 new TB patients and 3,500 others suffering from multidrug-resistant TB. Some 18,000 people die of the disease in the country annually.

In 2013, the National Tuberculosis Programme covered all communes nationwide, and up to 90.9 percent of new patients with sputum smears that tested positive for acid-fast bacilli were treated successfully. Notably, the number of new patients has fallen in the past years.

In 2014, the programme plans to further ensure people’s access to high-quality Directly Observed Treatment and Short Course (DOTS) services, and manage the situation of drug-resistant TB and patients infected with both TB and HIV.

The World Health Organisation said TB is the second leading infectious cause of death while multidrug-resistant TB is present in almost all countries.-VNA