Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The health sector today called on local and international communities for supporting tuberculosis (TB) patients at a ceremony to launch the TB Patients Support Fund in Việt Nam.
The event was organised by the National TB Control and Prevention Programme under the National Lung Diseases Hospital to mark World TB Day (March 24).
The fund aims to mobilise financial sources for the health sector to provide more treatment opportunities for TB patients in the country, especially poor patients, in an effort to minimise TB transmission in the community.
“Together, let’s save the lives of thousands of patients dying from TB every year in Việt Nam and prevent TB infection for each one of us,” said programme director Nguyễn Viết Nhung.
Nhung said it was a sad paradox that many people continued to be diagnosed with TB despite the advancement of medical science and invention of technologies and facilities to detect and treat TB over the past years.
“Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of fatality in the world, leading to the deaths of nearly two million people every year. Resistant tuberculosis has threatened global health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are nearly 130,000 new cases of tuberculosis diagnosed each year, resulting in some 16,000 deaths in Việt Nam by 2015,” said Nhung.
He further said the fund would mobilise finances to buy and provide health insurance cards to poor TB patients in an effort to minimise their cost of treatment.
“Ending tuberculosis in Việt Nam means avoiding the desperate deaths of 13,000 people every year. It also means that hundreds of thousands of families will no longer have to worry about someone having TB in future, including relatives of each one of us,” Nhung said.
To mark World TB Day, the National TB Control and Prevention Programme launched a writing contest nationwide on the theme “Let’s together end TB in Việt Nam”.
The Government has issued a National Strategy for Tuberculosis Control until 2020 with a vision to 2030. The goal is to gradually end TB in the country by reducing infection by 30 per cent and deaths by 40 per cent during 2015-20.
According to WHO, there had been a decrease of TB cases from 128,000 to 126,000 in 2015-16. TB-related deaths reduced from 16,000 to 13,000 in this period, which translates to a reduction of infection cases by 2,000 and deaths by 3,000. — VNS