Vietnam plans to spend 70 billion dong, or approximately $4.4 million, on tuberculosis control programs in 2008, Dinh Ngoc Si, director of the National Hospital of TB and Lung Diseases, said on Thursday at a conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, the VNA/Nhan Dan reports.
The 2008 spending figure represents an increase of about 10% over previous levels. TB control programs will continue to receive aid and assistance from the government, nongovernmental organizations, the Dutch government and the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to the VNA/Nhan Dan.
The country during the last nine years consistently has reached World Health Organization targets of detecting at least 70% of TB cases and successfully treating 85% of cases. According to Si, the National Program on TB Prevention successfully treated more than 90% of identified TB cases in 2007.
Despite these efforts, Vietnam still ranks 13 out of the 22 countries with the highest TB burdens worldwide. Si said that in 2007, there were 235 total TB cases per 100,000 people and 175 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 people. About 95,000 people in Vietnam were diagnosed with TB in 2007 -- the largest number of people to be diagnosed with the disease in a single year since 2000, Si said.
Cases of multi-drug resistant TB increased from 2.3% of recorded cases between 1996 and 1997 to 2.7% of recorded cases between 2005 and 2006. In addition, about 3% of HIV-positive people between ages 15 and 49 have TB.
Si said that some of the greatest obstacles to TB control in Vietnam include the emergence of MDR-TB, HIV/TB coinfection and limited treatment access among minority groups. He said the number of TB cases occurring among men between ages 15 and 24 is high. NPTP will focus on reducing the number of TB cases and deaths through 2011.
The program will focus on preventing MDR-TB, improving the quality and accessibility of health care services, and implementing a collaborative strategy for public and private health care providers in 12 provinces and cities.
Bui Duc Duong, vice head of NPTP, said the program will begin a project in the second quarter of the year to provide treatment for people with MDR-TB in Ho Chi Minh City. The Global Fund will provide a $6 million grant to the project to help build a treatment center and fund access to no-cost medicines.
The Ministry of Health estimates that $48 million will be required to fund NPTP programs through 2011. According to the health ministry, $5.7 million is needed to treat drug-resistant TB, and almost $2.2 million is needed to treat HIV/TB coinfection.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation