Vietnam will aim to halve the number of tuberculosis (TB) patients by 2015 towards a goal of eliminating the disease in 2030.

This is an overall objective of Vietnam ’s tuberculosis prevention programme in the 2011-2015 period with vision towards 2030 announced at a seminar jointly held by the Central Lung Hospital (CLH), the Vietnam Tuberculosis Prevention Programme and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 22.

According to CLH Director Dinh Ngoc Sy, there remain difficulties and challenges in realising set targets in this field, including the shortage of officers in charge of TB prevention due to high infection risks and low incomes, and the uncontrolled management of anti-TB medicines in the market.

Nearly half of officers dealing with this job are untrained and people traditionally treat the disease by themselves, he said.

Sy emphasised the need to include TB prevention in the list of priorities of social development plans, strengthen the detection and management of patients and pour more cash into personnel training and building high-quality TB prevention establishments.

Vietnam is one of the countries suffering enormous TB burdens with 180,000 new cases and 32,000 fatalities due to the disease each year./.