• Tuesday, May 26, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:19 am

Childhood TB 2.5 times higher than 10 years ago

  • Published at 05:11 pm March 25th, 2019
web-TB-Day-20190324-Mehedi-Hasan00009.jpg
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller addresses a program commemorating the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2019 at a hotel in Dhaka on Sunday, March 24, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

This was revealed at an event marking World Tuberculosis Day 2019, in Dhaka

Childhood tuberculosis is 2.5 times higher than a decade ago.

This was disclosed at a national level policy dialogue organized to review the commitment made at a UN high level meeting in 2018 and to commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day 2019, at a city hotel, on Sunday.

The National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) was informed that multi-drug resistant TB case enrollment was 83% on a shorter regimen in 2018.

Initiatives are underway to install a specialized child TB center, new child-friendly drugs, and a digital child TB screening tool for identifying and reducing the number of TB patients from all over the country, speakers said.

The thematic areas of the policy dialogue include: resource mobilization and more investment, coordination among health ministry and local government in the urban areas and other ministries, active engagement of the private sector and elected representatives, a comprehensive way of approaching  TB issues, and more pro-active involvement of the community through awareness-raising in finding, treating and preventing TB cases.

Government efforts

Speaking as the chief guest State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Murad Hasan said, the government is committed to increasing efforts to test and treat persons with latent TB infections to prevent TB disease, plus raise awareness and advocate for efforts to eliminate TB.

“We must continue with developing a sustainable and comprehensive strategy to practice prevention efforts with enthusiasm,” said the minister.

The program was held with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Challenge TB Bangladesh (CTB) Project.

$100 million spent

The US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller said over the last 10 years, the US government, through USAID, has continued to invest more than an estimated $100 million to advance tuberculosis control efforts in Bangladesh.

Director MBDC and line Director TBL and ASP Director General of Health Services program Professor Dr Samiul Islam chaired the dialogue.

The panelists at the policy dialogue included: Economist Hossain Zillur Rahman, Senior Secretary for Planning Commission Dr. Shamsul Alam, Dhaka Medical College Principal Professor Khan Abul Kalam Azad, former Dean and Secretary General Bangladesh Medical Association Professor Dr. Iqubal Arslan, and Deputy Representative of WHO Bangladesh Dr Edwin C. Salvador; who joined in an open and constructive discussion covering a number of thematic areas.

Among others, Health Services Division Secretary Ashadul Islam, Medical Education and Family Welfare Division Secretary G.M. Saleh Uddin, Health Services Director General Professor Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh Medical Association President Dr. Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin, USAID Mission Director Derrick Brown, Challenge TB Bangladesh Country Project Director Dr. Oscar Cordon, and other stakeholders attended the policy dialogue event.

Every year, Bangladesh's government observes World TB Day to join the global movement in making a powerful statement and show solidarity.

The World TB Day 2019 theme, as articulated by the NTP, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Challenge TB Bangladesh Project is “It’s Time to End TB in Bangladesh.”

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