Vietnam on right track to end tuberculosis by 2030 hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the conference (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has emphasised that tuberculosis is an infectious but not scary disease, and thanks to the development of medicine today it is no longer an "incurable disease."

In current tuberculosis treatment, medical facilities have mastered detection, diagnosis and treatment technology, and the country has built a strong network from central to local level. This is a very encouraging result when comparing with many countries in the region and around the world.

The World Health Organisation said that Vietnam is on the right track to end tuberculosis and has gathered almost factors to end tuberculosis by 2030, according to Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung, Director of Central Lung Hospital and Chairman of the National Tuberculosis Prevention Programme.

"10 million dong saves a life"

The Ministry of Public Health and the National Tuberculosis Control Programme has held a conference to respond to World Tuberculosis Day (March 24), review five years of implementing the National Strategy for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control and launch the National Action Programme to end tuberculosis by 2030.

Addressing conference, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam called for stronger and more effective actions to wipe out tuberculosis by 2030.

"Every year, more than 10 million people in the world are infected with tuberculosis, and the disease kills 1.6 million people a year. In Vietnam, one of the countries with efforts and efficiency in TB prevention work, up to 120,000 people are newly infected with tuberculosis, and 12,000 people die from the disease (1.5 times higher than the number of fatalities due to traffic accidents) each year,” Dam said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the detection, especially the early detection, of tuberculosis is very important and decisive, as the successful cure rate is about 52 percent in the world and 75 percent in Vietnam. In Vietnam, if a person with TB is first detected, the rate of successful treatment within four to six months is up to 90 percent.

The results of tuberculosis prevention in Vietnam from 1986 to now are encouraging. A system of detection and treatment of tuberculosis patients has been formed with the involvement of the health sector, the community, and many social organisations.

Besides, a financial mechanism has been formed step by step, that ensures TB prevention and treatment work from the state budget, health insurance, international funding. At this time, the funding for anti-tuberculosis activities in Vietnam is about 60 million USD a year, and treatment for a tuberculosis patient needs less than 10 million VND, including 2 million VND for drug.

“10 million VND saves a life. I hope that entire society will pay attention to and support Patients Support Foundation to End Tuberculosis (PASTB), the Deputy Prime Minister said.

To fulfill Vietnam's commitment to the international community on the goal of ending tuberculosis by 2030, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the responsibility of the health sector and the whole system to make people fully aware of the disease.

“We need to do better communication work to raise public awareness of TB which takes many lives each year. Although TB is an infectious disease, it is treatable and curable thanks to the medical technology advances”, he stressed.

Financial mechanisms as well as application of new technologies and treatment should be encouraged while people from all walks of life should be engaged in the fight against TB, he added.

Vietnam on right track to end tuberculosis by 2030 hinh anh 2Participants at the conference (Source: VNA)

70 percent of people with tuberculosis are of working age

According to Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, World Tuberculosis Day is an opportunity for everyone to join hands to help and raise awareness about tuberculosis.

This year’s global theme “It's time!” - “It's time to take action to end tuberculosis” - emphasises the urgency in implementing commitments of global leaders.

In Vietnam, the theme is “It is time to work together to end tuberculosis in Vietnam by 2030.” The theme highlights specific orientations and goals.

Vietnam is in the world’s top 30 countries with high TB burden. The country ranks 16th in the number of TB patients and 15th in the rankings of drug-resistant TB patients. Seventy percent of the TB patients are of working age (between 15 and 55).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that there were 124,000 new TB cases in Vietnam in 2017. During that year, the disease killed 12,000 people, much higher than the number of fatalities due to traffic accidents the same time.

Thanks to the national strategy on TB prevention, coupled with advanced diagnosis system, the TB cases in the country fell dramatically. In the past decade, TB cases drop 31 percent, average 3.8 percent each year.

The WHO said that Vietnam is on the right track to end TB by 2030. However, Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung said that the TB prevention programme is facing various challenges, particularly in maintaining sustainable achievements until 2030, and engaging the society in the fight against TB.

On the occasion, the National Lung Hospital, National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Patients Support Foundation to End Tuberculosis TB Patients Support Fund in collaboration with the national humanitarian information portal 1400 launched a text message campaign to mobilise financial sources to help needy TB patients./.