Thousands of tuberculosis patients are resistant to medicine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said 74,000 new multi-drug resistant TB cases are reported in the Western Pacific annually.
“If you are diagnosed with TB in our region, on the average five percent are already multi-drug resistant (MDR) – even if you never take TB medicine – because it spread from other MDR-TB threats,” Nobuyuki Nishikiori, WHO Western Pacific regional office team leader for Stop TB and Leprosy Elimination, told reporters.
“World TB Day” was celebrated yesterday.
Nishikiori said countries should not take this sitting down for the sake of children who are at risk of contracting TB.
“This is a man-made disaster and we need to address that. It is our responsibility in our generation,” he said.
WHO data show some nine million people develop TB globally, but one third or three million of them are missed or “not found, treated and reported” to national health authorities.
In the Western Pacific, 1.6 million new TB cases are reported every year, 20 percent of them are “missed,” and 110,000 die.
Based on 2000 data, Cambodia, China, the Philippines and Vietnam account for 93 percent of the TB cases in the region. Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star