Vietnam makes first presence in WHO anti-TB advisory group hinh anh 1Prof. Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung (first right) and members of the WHO STAG-TB (Photo provided by Prof. Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung)
Geneva (VNA) – A Vietnamese representative was elected to the World Health Organisation Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Tuberculosis (STAG-TB) for the first time during the group’s 16th meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 13-15.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung, Director of the National Lung Hospital and head of the national anti-tuberculosis programme, was appointed by the WHO Director-General as one of 23 members of the STAG TB for the 2016-2018 period. He will have the opportunity to continue with the group until 2021.

During the meeting, an important topic was to map out a new strategy to eliminate tuberculosis between 2016-2035, Vietnam was mentioned as a leading country in the efforts against the disease.

Vietnam has showed strong political commitment to the work with a national strategy against tuberculosis approved by the Prime Minister in 2014, heard the meeting.

Speaking to the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Geneva after the appointment, Prof. Dr. Nhung said the STAG TB has set ambitious goals, with research and renovation being important pillars in the strategy to put an end to the disease.

Vietnam , one of the leading countries in the field, will share lessons for the effective implementation of tuberculosis prevention and control, he said.

Regarding the new role that Vietnam will play in global efforts against tuberculosis, he said that in recent years, Vietnam’s achievements in the field have been recognised internationally.

Each year, over 100,000 tuberculosis cases are diagnosed and treated, with 90 percent of them recovering, he said.

Since 2000, the number of cases has been reducing by 4.6 percent annually, higher than the world average drop.

With updated treatment technology, nearly 6,000 drug-resistance tuberculosis patients have so far been successfully treated.

In 2016, Vietnam started using a new treatment drug and course to tackle the fatal drug-resistance variants of tuberculosis.-VNA