Materia Medica Malaysiana

August 28, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 6:38 am

HIV/TB co-infections up: “KUALA LUMPUR: The number of people in Malaysia who are co-infected with both tuberculosis (TB) and HIV is on the increase, and they are mostly from prisons and drug rehabilitation centres, Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said.
He said the HIV/AIDS epidemic since the 1980s had had a significant impact on the incidence of TB because the immuno-deficiency status of HIV/AIDS patients made them more susceptible to TB and other infections.
“While in 1990 we had only six reported cases of TB/HIV co-infections, representing 0.06% of the total number of reported TB cases then, this number has increased to 933 cases or 6.5% of the total number of reported TB cases in 2002.
“Our TB/HIV problem lies mainly in the prisons and drug rehabilitation centres because of the captive population there,” Chua said yesterday, when opening the annual general meeting of the Malaysian Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis here.
He said the ministry had been urging and collaborating with the National Drug Agency and the Prisons Department to screen inmates for TB, and was in the midst of preparing guidelines for the detection and treatment of TB patients to be used by personnel there.
“We must have a standard policy everywhere whereby those who have TB are also screened for HIV,” Chua said, adding that these guidelines in Bahasa Malaysia and English would be out soon.
The ministry in collaboration with the Academy of Medicine, Malaysia has already issued a second edition of the Practice Guidelines for the Control and Management of Tuberculosis for doctors, health care providers and non-governmental organisations.
He also said that almost 10% of the TB cases reported last year were foreign workers.
“Last year, out of 400,000 foreign workers screened”

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