Myanmar health department declares war on tuberculosis

THE MYAMAR government plans to raise the budget expenditure to combat tuberculosis by 2.5 per cent within three years, hoping to reduce TB incidence by 40 per cent through new health facilities, laboratories and diagnostic services, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Myanmar is one of 22 countries that since 1998 has been considered to be TB “high burden” country (HBC), according to 2016 statistics. According to the study, there are approximately 150,000 cases of TB detected annually in the country.
Transmission of multi drug-resistant TB is also targeted to decrease by five per cent between 2015 and 2020 through collaborative efforts of the government and its partner organisations.
To reduce the burden of tuberculosis in the country, new outpatient departments will be opened in Yangon and Mandalay with the support of the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund (3MDG), one of the largest contributors of external assistance for health in Myanmar.
The new health facility will be fully operational by 2018 and will be able to receive between 100 and 150 patients a day. This will include referrals for complicated and drug-resistant TB cases from across the region.
The project is a part of the 3MDG Fund’s US$3.1 million investment, which covers the establishment of four TB facilities including two outpatient departments, a biosafety level 3 national TB reference laboratory and single-level caretaker quarters in both Yangon and Mandalay.
The new health structure will be constructed within the compound of the Yangon Regional Tuberculosis Centre (Aung San) in Insein Township, officials said.
The four-storey building will be equipped with a laboratory, medical storage and dispensary, X-ray, counselling, consultation and emergency rooms. In addition, restrooms, entry points and parking areas for people with disabilities will be constructed under the new programme.
The new facility will provide diagnostic and treatment services to patients who do not require hospitalisation free of charge.
The Ministry of Health and Sports is working towards the elimination of TB as a public health problem. —GNLM

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