Despite of government’s overall success in tuberculosis treatment, experts on Thursday said that control of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB) remains a major challenge as estimated 80 percent of its patients remain undiagnosed.
Speakers revealed the information at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club jointly organised by Health and Family Welfare ministry, National TB Control Programme (NTP) and BRAC on the occasion of World TB Day to be observed on 24th March, reports UNB.
The experts said treatment cannot be reached to 33 percent patients contracting any kind of TB while treatment success for pulmonary TB in the country is as high as 95 percent.
According to the NTP, 2 lakh 44 thousand and 201 patients were detected with TB and received treatment in 2017 through this government entity. Of them, 10 thousand and 189 are less than 15 years old. Further, 12 patients have been diagnosed as extensively drug resistant (XDR).
Mentioning about the shortage of GeneXpert machines used for MDR TB detection as a major hindrance, speakers said that lack of awareness and length of MDR TB treatment duration are also important factors for many for not completing the full treatment course.
Dr Md Abul Khair Basher presented the keynote paper at the press event. NTP Medical Officer Dr Nazis Arefin Saki gave a presentation on the NTP management, while its Monitoring and Evaluation Expert Dr Ahmedul Hassan Khan gave the welcome speech. NTP line director Professor Dr Samiul Islam moderated the question and answer session with the press.
The keynote speech stressed that 221 individual’s contract TB infection every year and 40 die of the infection in Bangladesh (Global TB report 2017).
Despite successes in TB treatment, Bangladesh is still one of the 30 most vulnerable countries to this infection, said Professor Dr Samiul Islam.
This year's slogan for World TB Day is “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World. You can make history. End TB”
Among other, World Health Organisation Medical Officer Mya Sapol, National Anti-tuberculosis Association of Bangladesh (NATAB) president Mozaffar Hossain Paltu, USAID Senior Adviser for infectious diseases Dr Charles Lerman, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh scientist Dr Sayra Banu and BRAC Director Dr Md Akramul Islam were present at the seminar.