Reduced cases of tuberculosis in Johor in 2017

Ayub dons safety glasses and work gloves to shatter a glass case, holding a plaque to commemorate the state-level World TB Day 2018 celebration, as Dr Selahuddeen (in jacket) and other guests look on.

BATU PAHAT: The number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in Johor last year has dropped to 2,251, compared to 2,331 in 2016.

However, the death rate due to TB infections in the state had rose from 3.6 per 100,000 residents in 2015 to four last year.

State Health and Environment, Education and Information committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat announced this during his opening remarks for the state’s World Tuberculosis Day 2018 celebration at the Batu Pahat Advance Technology Training Centre.

Nationwide, TB infections rose to 26,168 cases in 2017, compared with 25,742 in 2015, Ayub said.

“The state’s numbers have lessened although the national number of cases have risen, and it’s all thanks to the health department and district health offices and other agencies for their hard work,” he said.

Besides holding TB awareness programmes, Ayub said there was active involvement in detecting and registering new TB cases and treating them at the district level.

The programme has been expanded to other sectors of the population beyond just the state’s health facilities, Ayub said.

In 2017, he added, 146,000 high-risk people underwent TB scanning, resulting in 662 new cases detected and treated.

Ayub reminded parents to get the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine for their children against TB and this was only effective, he added, when 95% of the population were vaccinated for the benefits of herd immunity.

State Health Department director Dr Selahuddeen Abd Aziz said some parents were reluctant to innoculate their children against TB including chickenpox, and other diseases like diphtheria, measles, and polio.

He said Batu Pahat was chosen to host the state-level celebration, as the district was rife with TB cases since the 1970s.

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