Guidelines, preventive measures against TB a priority of health sector: Deputy PM

April 08, 2024 - 17:23
The most important factors in tuberculosis elimination progress are early detection, outpatient treatment at medical facilities and a monitoring network for the full recovery of TB patients.
Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà chaired the meeting on tuberculosis elimination on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp

HÀ NỘI — Guidelines and preventive measures for tuberculosis treatment are a priority of the health sector from the grassroots to the central level in the immediate future, Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà said at a seminar on Monday.

Speaking at the meeting on the 2024 working plan of the National Committee for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination, he ordered the Ministry of Health (MOH) to comprehensively and systematically update the statistics on TB in Việt Nam.

These include new cases, treatment progress and fatalities, in addition to recommendations from international organisations and resources mobilised from the public and private sectors.

Based on this data, the health ministry will conduct thorough evaluations of TB elimination progress, especially when Việt Nam is still among the 30 countries bearing the largest burden of TB in the world.

Policy beneficiaries to be fully supported by TB prevention and control funds will be identified, said the government leader, while the MOH will research and issue technical standards, methods and costs for diagnosis and treatment which will determine health insurance payments from the state budget.

The MOH is also tasked with preparing human resources and medical equipment for a nationwide survey on TB in 2025, updating the progress on TB prevention and control and making prompt recommendations to the authorities, while promoting international cooperation, technology transfer for mass and rapid diagnosis and combining traditional medicine in TB treatment.

As of 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that Việt Nam had 172,000 new TB patients, while 13,000 people died from TB, Deputy Health Minister Trần Văn Thuấn reported at the event, while only 60 per cent of the total infections were detected and received treatment.

Director of the National Lung Hospital Đinh Văn Lượng said that 12 out of 63 cities and provinces did not have a designated medical facility for TB and pulmonary diseases, leading to a shortage of specialists for TB prevention and control.

International funding for TB elimination is tending to decline while the local budget is limited.

Dr Trần Văn Sáng, former head of the department for TB and pulmonary diseases at Hà Nội Medical University Hospital, believes that public engagement is crucial in TB elimination as this is a public health issue.

"The most important factors in this progress are early detection, outpatient treatment at medical facilities and a monitoring network for the full recovery of TB patients," he said.

Sharing this perspective, Dr Đinh Ngọc Sỹ, former director of the National Lung Hospital, recommended that it was necessary to alter epidemiological patterns of TB by promoting research and technology applications in tandem with new vaccines, medications and treatment plans for TB elimination.

The press and media agencies also play a role in increasing public awareness for proactive screening and prevention of the disease. — VNS