The National Annual TB Evaluation Meeting (2017) was held at the Max Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe delivered a speech at the opening ceremony.
The Union Minister said it is important for people to be able to spot early symptoms, report them to the nearest health department, and to take prescribed medications. He noted that five digital mobile X-ray Rom vehicles will be used to speed up identification of TB. While both TB and HIV treatments have been made available in all townships across the country since 2016, the country still needs to reach the 90 per cent mark in administering HIV scans for TB patients and ART (antiretroviral therapy) coverage.
During the 3rd Drug Resistance Survey conducted in 2012-2013, Multi Drug Resistant TB – (MDRTB) was found in 5% of new TB patients, and in 27% of recurring TB patients, said the Union Minister. He added that the treatment deficit for MDRTB was 43% in 2012, but significantly reduced to 17% by 2017.
He also said that, currently, there are three BSL-3 TB labs in Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi that scan for MDRTB. There are also 86 Gene-Xpert module machines available for rapid diagnostic testing for MDRTB across the country. The Union Minister congratulated officials, medical staff and associated organizations, for their contribution towards eradicating TB.
Next, Dr. Thandar Lwin, Deputy Director-General, from the ministry explained about Myanmar’s status on TB, future plans, requirements, and necessary support.
This was followed by doctors presenting TB reviews and plans from their respective state or region. A TB official from WHO also gave a presentation about the disease.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)