Cambodia's tuberculosis prevalence rate declines sharply in last decade: new survey

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The tuberculosis prevalence rate in Cambodia has seen a 36 percent decline in the last decade, according to a new survey released on Wednesday.

The preliminary results of the 2nd Cambodia national TB prevalence survey found that about 171 people among 100,000 people have smear-positive tuberculosis in 2011, a 36 percent drop from 269 people among 100,000 people in 2002.

"Cambodia has seen a great success in fighting against TB in the last decade; however, the country is still one of the highest TB burden in the region and the world," Mao Tan Eang, director of National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control (CENAT) said at the survey launch.

He said the country spends around 10 million U.S. dollars a year for TB fight, adding that Cambodia has been facing a budget shortage between 30-40 percent in 2012 and 2013 due to the Global Fund's fund cancellation.

Yasujiro Suzuki, chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the survey had been conducted for one-year by testing approximately 37,413 people across the country, adding it cost one million U.S. dollars.

Speaking at the survey launch, Mam Bunheng, minister of health, said that the results demonstrated the effect of curing TB in Cambodia.

He added that according to the latest figures, the death rate from TB had also sharply declined from 153 deaths among 100,000 patients in 1990 to 61 deaths in 2010.

"With these results, Cambodia has been keeping on track to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal targets by reducing TB prevalence, incidence and mortality rates by a half in 2015," he said.

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Published: Feb. 8, 2012, 11:14 p.m.

Last updated: Feb. 9, 2012, 12:14 a.m.

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