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TB in children rises for lack of awareness: Experts

17 August 2016,Wednesday, 23:02

Constraint faced in diagnosis, inadequate treatment equipment and lack of public awareness are contributing to an alarming rise in Tuberculosis (TB) in children, health experts said here on Wednesday.

The total number of children diagnosed with TB was 6262 in 2014, while 7984 in 2015, reports UNB.

In 2014, the total number of TB patients, including those with children was 1,86,968, and in 2015 the number was 1,99,001.

The rate of diagnosis of child TB patients in 2014 was 3.35 percent, which increased to 4 percent in 2015.

According to experts, usually girl children of 5-14 years of age are more affected with this infection than boys covering the same age period.

Health experts on Wednesday came up with the figures at an orientation programme on tuberculosis organised for journalists at the Spectra Convention Centre in the capital.

Dr Md Mojibur Rahman, programme coordinator, National TB Control Programme (NTP), presented the keynote paper.

Health journalists from various national media houses, government representatives, physicians and TB experts took part in the event.

The NTP under the Directorate General of Health Services of the ministry of health and family welfare, Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum (BHRF), and non-governmental organisation BRAC organised the programme.

Discussions focused on issues relating to treatment and challenges of TB and recommendations.

Dr Kazi Al Mamun Siddiqui, senior manager of BRAC’s TB control programme delivered the welcome speech. Toufiq Maruf, president of BHRF moderated it.

Dr Asif Mujtaba Mahmud, associate professor of respiratory medicines, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Dr Shakil Ahmed, associate professor and paediatrician, Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Dr Lutfur Rahman, TB and HIV specialist, USAID-DFID, NHSDP, and Dr Shayla Islam, programme head, TB control programme of BRAC, among others spoke at the event.

Special correspondent of Prothom Alo and executive member of BHRF Shishir Moral gave the vote of thanks.

Dr Shakil Ahmed said WHO estimates child TB patients cover 10 per cent of the total diagnosed worldwide. With respect to this estimation, around 12 thousand children still remain undiagnosed.

He further said that child TB patients should be more in the cities including Dhaka than in the rural areas.

Dr Shayla Islam compared the number of deaths in diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis in Bangladesh, saying while 20 people die every year in diarrhoea TB takes the life of around 71 thousand.

The experts also said the number of TB patients in the country stands at 2 lakh and 7 thousand, according to the latest statistics. According to the keynote paper, 880 MDR TB patients were there in 2015. The success rate of cure among TB patients is 94 per cent in Bangladesh, according to the National TB Control Programme.

The speakers urged the media to be more active with reports and other forms of information dissemination activities to raise awareness about TB infection and its treatment.


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