Early detection can prevent TB

National 2 minutes, 33 seconds


THE reported number of tuberculosis (TB) cases and incidence rate continues to drop following Brunei’s ongoing efforts to stamp out the disease.

Data shows that the number of cases has reduced by 12 per cent from 243 cases in 2012 to 212 cases in 2013, while the incidence rate per 100,000 population also charted a drop in numbers from 62 in 2012 to 53 last year.

Alhamdulillah, we are grateful to Allah (SWT) for the fact that Brunei in 2013 did not record any TB related deaths,’’ said Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof yesterday.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan said that TB, a contagious airborne infection caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, can affect respiratory functions of the lung if it is not controlled.

“This disease can be prevented, treated and cured if it is detected early,’’ the minister said.

Among other factors that can contribute to an increased risk of TB disease is malnutrition, overcrowding and inadequate ventilation.

He went on to say that in the country’s move to completely eradicate TB, various methods have been actively implemented such as health screening and early detection through TB tests as well as Directly-Observed Therapy Short course (DOTS) treatment as a more effective and efficient measure in dealing with TB.

In light of this year’s theme for World TB Day; “A TB test, treatment and cure for all’’, the minister said that health professionals play important roles and need to be sensitive in identifying symptoms related to TB when a patient seeks health care.

He stressed the importance of stronger cooperation among all stakeholders to actively play their roles in not only enhancing the prevention and control of TB in the country but also its complete eradication.

According to Dr Hjh Anie Haryani Hj Abdul Rahman, acting director of Environmental Health Services at the Ministry of Health, this year’s focus is to increase the TB health screening among high risk groups for the better detection.

In this regards, Dr Hjh Anie Haryani, who is also the chairwoman of the event, said that the Ministry of Health has conducted trainings for officers from the Prisons Department and Jerudong Park Medical Centre.

The training on Mantoux Test was held in two sessions from 4-8 March and 11-15 March.

The commemoration of World TB Day also saw a lecture entitled “Empowering People Through Knowledge” delivered by Dr Hjh Khalizah Hj Jamil, medical superintendent at the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah (PMMPMHAMB) Hospital in Tutong.

In her presentation, she encouraged patients to immediately seek medical advice when general symptoms such as persistent coughing over more than two weeks, presence of blood in coughs, unexplained weight loss and fever.

In conjunction with the World TB Day, the National Tuberculosis Coordinating Centre (NTCC) will hold another round of talks related to TB and roadshows across the country in a bid to raise awareness of symptoms and visiting health centres for a treatment when such symptoms were found.

The Brunei Times