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12 percent Bhutanese suffering from tuberculosis remain undetected

Mar 24, 2015

12 percent Bhutanese suffering from tuberculosis remain undetected-Around 12 percent of people suffering from tuberculosis remain undetected. Health secretary, Dorji Wangchuk said the missed cases are because of lapses in health system and lack of cooperation from individuals and communities.

Observing the World Tuberculosis Day in Thimphu, today, the health minister, Tandin Wangchuk called for support from all stakeholders in identifying and encouraging, those who cough for more than two weeks, to visit health centres. Lyonpo said this will help in reaching the unreached and in giving timely treatment.

About 3 million people around the world do not get or are reported to have missed health care system in detecting and receiving TB treatment.

The theme this year was along the same line, “Reach the 3 million: reach, treat and cure everyone”.

WHO’s Regional Director of South East Asia, Dr.Poonam Khetrepal Singh said it is crucial to reach out to the missed ones and treat them as the disease is contagious.

Along with the global community, Bhutan is also gearing towards eliminating TB by 2035.

However, the biggest challenge the health ministry faces, is increasing number of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, commonly known as MDR-TB.

In 2014, 61 cases of MDR-TB were detected in the country, the highest number ever reported.

The health secretary, Dorji Wangchuk said majority of MDR-TB cases in the country is due to negligence. He said patients need to complete their treatment so that they do not become resistant to drugs.

Treatment for tuberculosis lasts six months. If diagnosed with MDR-TB, the treatment would go up to 24 months.

During the 24-month treatment, they will have to take 16 different medicines a day from 7 AM until 7 PM. It also includes an injection.

MDR-TB can even lead to death.

Last year 1,082 cases of tuberculosis were detected in the country and 43 deaths were reported.






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