Prioritise TB control programme: WHO expert urges Bangladesh
Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-11-09 01:37:48.0 BdST Updated: 2016-11-09 01:48:56.0 BdST
Tuberculosis experts from both the World Health Organisation and Bangladesh’s disease monitoring agency, IEDCR, have suggested that the government step up its efforts to fight off the infectious disease and move them up the list of priorities.
The call came from a seminar in Dhaka on Tuesday in the wake of ongoing discussion to slip the National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) into the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) programme that deals with other infectious diseases.
“We need to highlight the current NTP even more now,” Dr ViKarunnesa Begum, National Professional Officer of WHO Dhaka office, said.
“We need to prioritise the issue in the new sustainable development era."
This is despite the fact that the preliminary results of a new survey indicate TB prevalence in Bangladesh is little less than the WHO’s estimates.
Still Bangladesh cannot detect 43 percent of the total TB cases, Dr Md Mojibur Rahman, National Programme Officer of the NTP, said.
He said an estimated 45 people out of 100,000 die of TB, and 9O percent reduction of the figure under the SDG target means “we must need to strengthen our programme”.
“It may not be possible if we incorporate the NTP with the CDC,” he said.
Dr Asif Mujtaba Mahmud, associate professor for respiratory medicine at the IEDCR, said: “We have to think even out of the box and devise new programmes in the new sustainable development goal era."
“If it (NTP) goes under the CDC, then it’ll lose priority,” he said, suggesting picking “brand ambassador” for tuberculosis from the cricket stars to make a difference in the awareness programme.
He also suggested involving the prime minister, who recently travelled to Toronto to attend the global fund, which supports TB programme, in the event.
The NTP, in association with Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum, and BRAC that implements government’s TB programme, organised the seminar styled “Future strategy of Bangladesh TB control programme to meet the SDG targets”.
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