UN sec-gen lauds effort to fight TB

Friday March 23, 2012

By LOH FOON FONG and LEE YEN MUN
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s effort in providing free TB treatment and integrating it in primary care is remarkable, said United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

“I am humbled and encouraged that the patients are given free and kind service,” he said after visiting the Institute of Respiratory Medicine yesterday where he also spoke to two patients in the ward and handed them medicines.

In commemorating World TB Day on March 24, Ban said he had made it a mission in the UN to eliminate TB with the theme “Stop TB in our Lifetime” and equated his name to the phrase “TB Ban” or “TB banished.”

He called for intensified global solidarity to ensure that all people were free from fear of TB and its devastating effects.

TB is the second top infectious killer of adults worldwide, he said, adding that last year, 8.4 million people were infected with TB, while 1.4 million died from it.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he was encouraged by Ban’s positive affirmation on Malaysia’s fight against TB.

Liow said TB was a communicable disease that had persisted for a long time and while Malaysia managed to contain it in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a slight increase in TB cases in recent years 72 per 100,000 population compared with 64 per 100,000 in the last decade.

from The Star