Thursday, July 21, 2005

WHO: Cambodia one of nations hardest hit by TB

PHNOM PENH, July 21 (Xinhuanet) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has singled out Cambodia as one of the countries hardest hit by tuberculosis (TB), local press reported on Thursday.

With 70,000 people infected with the respiratory illness each year, TB killed 107 people for every 100,000 Cambodians last year, according to WHO estimation on Wednesday.

The global health body has set a specific strategy for Cambodia to fight the illness, calling for the provision of TB-specific treatment programs, an 85 percent recovery rate and the identification of 70 percent of all cases of BK, a new strain of TB, Khmer newspaper Island of Peace reported.

Approximately 33,000 of the 70,000 TB patients have tested positive for BK, Mao Tan Eang, director of the National Tuberculosis Center, was quoted by Rasmei Kampuchea as saying. He said 225 of every 100,000 Cambodians develop BK each year, while 508 of every 100,000 Cambodians are infected with all forms of TB.

Speaking at the National Tuberculosis Center's biannual evaluation meeting on Wednesday, Mao Tan Eang said Cambodia discovered 35 percent of BK or 10,500 positive patients in the first half of this year, Chinese newspaper Jian Hua Daily said.

Last year, Cambodia cured 90 percent of TB cases, identified 64 percent of BK cases and provided treatment to 100 percent of all TB cases. Meanwhile, the government spends 6 million to 7 million US dollars annually on the fight against TB. Enditem

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