Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cambodia To Reduce TB Infection and Mortality By 2015

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Cambodia’s Health Minister Dr. Mam Bunheng said that tuberculosis (TB) is still a main concern in Cambodia. He added that to prevent and reduce new TB infection and death, the Cambodian government will work diligently in raising TB awareness and providing DOT (directly observed therapy) services to all those who are now suffering TB in Cambodia.

The Health Minister said the government’s DOT services will be offered free of charge at every health center and state hospital in the villages, communes, districts, cities and provinces across the Kingdom of Cambodia. He called on the health officers to continue their hard work in finding old and new TB patients for treatment so that Cambodia will able to achieve its goals in reducing TB infection and mortality by 100 percent in accordance to its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015.

“I appreciate the hard work and achievements of the TB Laboratory activities and CENAT activities in finding people living with TB, providing treatment and 100 percent DOT services for all those who are affected with TB in Cambodia,” he said. “I would like to encourage all health officers to continue their hard work in seeking new TB patients everywhere in Cambodia and providing the DOT services and treatment for them,” he said during his opening speech delivered to the 3rd Monitoring and Evaluation Quarterly Workshop which was organized by the National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control (CENAT) in the Ministry of Health on October 26 in Phnom Penh.”

The Minister continued to say that according to the Ministry of Health’s report, in the 3rd quarterly year 2009, his ministry conducted DOT services covering 100 percent of 718 health centers and 72 referral hospitals in Cambodia. As result, it was found that from a total of 10,194, over 85 percent of the patients have been cured completely with the treatment efforts.

Dr. Mao Tan Eang, Director of National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control (CENAT), said that to reduce the rate of TB infection in Cambodia, with financial support from World Health Organization (WHO), and other involved international organizations, CENAT began the DOT services program in 1994. He said that from 1999 until 2009 his center has also enlarged DOT services and to cover 100 percent of all health centers and referral hospitals across the nation.

“I am proud with CENAT’s hard work to reduce TB infection and mortalities in Cambodia. I think that this achievement was made possible because we have strong support from the concerned leaders of the Cambodian government, leaders of Ministry of Health, and other involved ministries, institutions, local authorities and active NGOs in Cambodia,” he told reporters.

He stated that according to the report, in 2009 the TB related death rate was 88 cases among the 100,000. There were 2,920 cases in which about 700 people died in 2008. He added that to prevent and reduce TB infection and mortality by 100 percent, CENAT as well as Ministry of Health will enlarge the DOT services to effectively reach every community, village, commune, district, health centers and referral hospitals in Cambodia in future. ///

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