Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 10, 2008

Understand TB to check its spread

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:41 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: The number of tuberculosis patients is increasing due to a lack of awareness of the disease.
Last year, the Health Ministry recorded 16,825 cases, with 1,472 deaths nationwide compared to 16,665 cases and 1,431 deaths in 2006.
Respiratory Medical Institute director Datin Dr Aziah Ahmad Mahayiddin said the disease had been overshadowed by greater health threats like HIV, dengue and diabetes.
“People tend to overlook TB because it has been around for 3,000 years and they think it is an old disease. But there’s a need to increase awareness as TB still exists,” she said at the launch of World TB Day at the medical institute yesterday.
She said doctors and medical officers should understand TB and its symptoms to avoid patients from spreading the disease.
“The easiest and cheapest way to check if a person is infected with TB is to take a sample of the patient’s phlegm.”
TB is an air-borne disease which spreads through coughing and sneezing.
Malaysian Association for Prevention of Tuberculosis president Datuk Seri Yeop Junior Yeop Adlan said the health ministry should increase the Treatment Allowance Scheme for poor TB patients.
“For the past 50 years, the maximum monthly allowance per person has been RM100. We hope the ministry will approve the maximum amount of RM400 as the cost of living has gone up,” he said.

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