WHO urges better TB control in Vietnam


The annual number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in Vietnam has not declined in the past decade, mainly because the country has neglected its research laboratories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

 In a press release early this week, the WHO said that while Vietnam had achieved global targets for TB case detection and cure in 1997, there has since been no decline in the number of TB cases reported annually. 

According to the organization, Vietnam’s laboratories have suffered neglect in terms of management, staff and funding.

This has considerably lessened the effectiveness of TB control and research in the country.

“High quality and appropriate diagnostic tools are absolutely critical for effective TB control and more must be done in Vietnam to equip laboratories with the right tools,” said Dr.

Jean-Marc Olive, WHO representative in Vietnam.

The rapidly changing field of TB diagnostic tests cannot be ignored any longer.”

“Strengthening laboratories for better TB care will benefit a broad range of laboratory services, improving diagnosis and clinical follow-up of many conditions, including threats like avian influenza and other serious infections,” Olive added.

“Laboratories must optimize the use of current tools available which involves improving infrastructure, equipment, bio-safety measures, quality management systems and training.

In addition, laboratory services and networks must be strengthened and upgraded,” he said.

Tuberculosis is the number one killer among communicable diseases in the Western Pacific Region.

Although TB has long been curable, every year around 2 million people in the region and nine million worldwide develop the disease.

In Vietnam, about 100,000 people develop TB and 20,000 succumb to the disease annually.


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