TB cases fall below 200 in 8 years

National 1 minute, 45 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) cases in Brunei last year fell below 200, the first time in eight years or since 2006, data from the National Tuberculosis Coordinating Centre (NTCC) showed.

There were 198 recorded cases last year – 141 of them locals – compared to 212 in 2013.

In 2012, there were 240 cases.

As a consequence of the declining TB incidence trend, nearly 49 persons per 100,000 population were afflicted with the illness in 2014 compared to the 92 cases per 100,000 population in 2000, 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 in his message for the World TB Day 2015 today.

The minister said that although there has been a decline in the total number of cases, the rate of decline has slowed down in recent years.

Between 2006 and 2013, TB incidence has remained relatively constant, ranging from 52 to 60 per 100,000 of the population.

Head of NTCC Hjh Rafizah Hj Abd Hamid said that the mortality rate - which ranges annually between three to five per 100,000 population for the past 10 years - was “still high,” but claimed this was partially because “a very broad definition for TB death was employed.”

“The definition of TB death (in treatment outcome) is death for any reason during the course of the treatment,” she said.

“But the majority of patients who died during the course of treatment had multiple comorbidities (more than one disorder or disease). The cause of death was not only due to TB,” she added.

Amongst foreigners, Indonesians had the highest reported cases in the country, followed by Filipinos and Malaysians. Men were also more likely to suffer the disease, representing 61 per cent of the cases in 2014.

This year’s World TB Day was themed “Reach the Three Million: Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone.”

The World Health Organisation estimates that there are nine million new TB cases globally every year, three million of which are not detected or treated.

The organisation has recommended all stakeholders, including the public, to take more effective actions to ensure that all those infected with the TB bacteria get access to diagnosis and treatment.

The Brunei Times