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Health minister: Higher TB death rate recorded in Malaysia last year

Publish date: Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 08:12 PM

PUTRAJAYA, March 24 ― A total of 2,572 deaths due to Tuberculosis (TB) were recorded last year, an increase of 12 per cent or 284 cases compared to 2021, says Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

In a statement in conjunction with World Tuberculosis Day today, she said a total of 25,391 cases of the disease were reported last year, with an increase of 3,664 or 17 per cent compared to 21,727 cases, during the same period the previous year.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the TB incidence rate for Malaysia to be 97 per 100 thousand population. But the rate of incidents reported in this country is lower than the WHO estimate,” she said.

WHO estimates there were 10.6 million cases of tuberculosis globally last year.

She said efforts to increase the rate of detection through early screening needed to be increased, therefore individuals who have a high risk of being infected such as contacts with tuberculosis cases, patients with HIV, chronic kidney disease, chronic pulmonary disease (obstructive type) and active smokers were advised to do the screening.

“Treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis is important for recovery and avoiding complications that can cause morbidity and mortality,” she said. Patients who stop taking treatment and refuse to continue treatment can be subject to legal action under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated on March 24 every year to increase awareness, commitment and support from various parties for control and prevention efforts. ― Bernama

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