Bangladesh still at high risk of TB, 18 percent of cases undiagnosed

Bangladesh still at high risk of TB, 18 percent of cases undiagnosed

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The National Tuberculosis Control Strategy paper states that by 2025, there should be a 75 percent reduction in the number of TB cases (compared to 2015). The number of deaths due to TB in 2015 was 73,000. That is, in the next two years this number will have to be reduced to around 18,000. By 2025, new TB incidence should be cut by 50 percent (compared to 2015). However, Bangladesh fell short of both the targets.

Doctors say that TB is an air-borne disease. The risk is higher for those living close to TB patients. That’s why when a person is diagnosed with TB, people around the patient should also get tested.

People associated with the TB control program say that to meet the target, it is necessary to focus on increasing the rate of detection of TB cases, ensuring follow-up treatment of diagnosed patients, raising awareness at the community level. Ensure proper training of health workers.

Babies suffering from TB not being diagnosed properly

National Tuberculosis Control Program started after the independence of the country. Every three years since 1994, a team of local and international experts (Joint TB Monitoring Mission) evaluates the program and submits its report to the government. It makes recommendations regarding various areas related to TB. The latest report was to be submitted in 2023.

A review of several reports by the Joint Surveillance Mission reveals that the country is under-diagnosing infant TB. Infants are estimated to be infected with TB based on the population of the country and the prevalence of TB. This suggests that only 4 per cent of infants are diagnosed with TB. This means that 96 percent of infants with TB are not being diagnosed.

The 2019 report of the Joint Monitoring Team discussed the issue of diagnosis and treatment of TB in infants. Several recommendations were also made in the report. However, not much progress has been made in this regard.

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