Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 13, 2007

WHO fears the emergence of new multi-drug resistant tuberculosis

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:26 am

Star: KUCHING: The authorities are keeping a close watch on the emergence of the new multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), which the WHO fear is the next worldwide threat, although no case has been detected in the country.
Health Ministry principal assistant director for national tuberculosis/leprosy control programme Dr Fuad Hashim said in his working paper on the country’s national TB control programme that the bigger problem was the correlation between HIV sufferers and the disease.
“TB is the leading killer of people infected with HIV, and up to 50% of people with HIV or AIDS develop the disease.
“In 1990, there were six cases of TB/HIV reported with one death. This has increased to 1,103 cases last year. TB/HIV cases contribute about 6.7% of the total number of TB cases,” he said.
Dr Fuad’s paper was presented on the opening day of three-day meeting of managers for countries with a high burden of TB in the western Pacific region here yesterday.
The event was organised by the WHO in collaboration with the Heath Ministry, Sarawak Health Department and National Tuberculosis Control Programme.
The WHO’s representative in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, Dr Han Tieru, warned that TB-HIV co-infection was of increasing concern in Malaysia and Singapore where TB and HIV shared common risk factors.
In his speech at the opening of the meeting yesterday, WHO western Pacific regional director Dr Shigeru Omi said multi drug-resistant TB would be the biggest challenge facing the region, and the problem had to be urgently dealt with.
He said a multi drug-resistant TB management pilot project started by the private sector in the Philippines was now being mainstreamed in the public sector under the national TB programme.

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