At present, 24 people per lakh die of tuberculosis (TB) in the country, which was 54 in 2010. Although the number of deaths due to TB has decreased, identifying active patients is still a challenge as about 25% of TB patients are still undiagnosed.
Experts say that identifying TB patients and bringing them under treatment will reduce the number of deaths, said experts at the Year-Long Awareness Raising Campaign on Tuberculosis to Mark Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's 100th Birth Anniversary Celebration organised by the Department of Health at a hotel in the capital on Tuesday.
Professor Md Shamiul Islam, Director, Bangladesh Medical & Dental Council and Line Director TB-Lep and ASP, Directorate General of Health Services, said, according to the World Health Organisation's Global TB report, 3,61,000 TB patients have been diagnosed in 2020 in Bangladesh. The number of patients identified in 2010 was 3,34,557. Deaths are declining every year.
Shamiul Islam also said the main goal of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme is to identify as many TB patients as possible and bring them under treatment. Patients who receive treatment will have fewer deaths. The success rate of our treatment is 96%. The government is working to eradicate TB by 2035. However, this requires awareness at all levels.
Recognising TB in children is now a big challenge. Now 35,000 children are being given six-month TB preventive therapy a year.
Health Minister Zahid Malek said 70,000 people used to die of TB in Bangladesh, but now the number of death is 36,000. We still have 3 lakh TB patients. One and a half lakh new patients are being added every year. Our recovery rate is quite good but the detection rate is still low. So we need to increase the detection rate. Only then the country will be liberated from TB.
The rate of coronavirus infection has increased. Ordinary people are not following any rules. People need to be aware that taking the vaccine will not guarantee that you will not get infected with Covid-19, the minister added.
There are 3,300 Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in the country now which was 5,300 in the past. People of densely populated areas, such as Old Dhaka, Kamrangirchar, etc, are vulnerable to TB.