NewsCommunity-Based Health Care Key to Fighting Tuberculosis

Community-Based Health Care Key to Fighting Tuberculosis

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The accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) at community healthcare facilities is pivotal, given Vietnam’s susceptibility to TB outbreaks. Đinh Văn Lượng, director of the National Lung Hospital and head of the Executive Board of the Vietnam Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Project, emphasized the essential role of community-level healthcare facilities in safeguarding communities against TB.

Highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB prevention and control, Lượng noted that the global TB burden increased due to the pandemic, delaying essential TB services provision by five to eight years. Despite the challenges, Vietnam ranks 11th among the 30 countries with the highest proportion of TB patients and multidrug-resistant TB globally, according to the World Health Organization’s Global TB Report 2023.

During the pandemic, Vietnam faced obstacles in TB detection, with a decline of over 20% in the number of infections detected in the community in 2021 compared to 2019 and 2020. This placed Vietnam among countries with the highest reduction rates in TB detection globally. The TB death rate also rose, reaching 12,000 people in 2021, a 35.8% increase compared to 2020.

Efforts by the National Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Programme have focused on launching TB prevention tasks at all communes and wards nationwide. Fifty-one out of 63 provinces and cities have established lung and tuberculosis hospitals. Collaboration with various partners, including the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, and other organizations, has been crucial.

Innovative approaches, such as AI applications in TB diagnosis, marked a significant achievement in 2023. The application of AI enhances the detection of TB cases, particularly those easily overlooked or challenging to reach. The medical sector has also intensified TB detection using X-ray and Xpert testing.

With the active involvement of the community healthcare system, the National Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Programme detected 78,674 cases in the first nine months of 2023, showcasing the efficiency of grassroots TB detection. Lượng stressed the need to strengthen TB diagnosis at the community level, focusing on high-risk groups to detect and treat TB early and work towards ending the epidemic.

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