KAPIT: Tuberculosis, which claimed the lives of 125 people in Sarawak last year, remains a serious threat.
State Environment and Public Health Minister Datuk William Mawan Ikom said 1,749 new cases were recorded last year, against 1,771 in 1991 and 1,885 in 2001.
With an estimated 83 new cases per 100,000 people in the state, this should be a matter of concern, he said, referring to the Health Ministrys targeted ratio of 40 cases per 100,000 people.
Mawan said this in a speech to launch the state-level World Tuberculosis Day at the Town Square here on Saturday.
His text was read by Assistant Minister for Public Health Dr Soon Choon Teck.
The event carried the theme, Tuberculosis patients DOTS (Directly observed therapy short course), Heal me and you.
Mawan said Kapit Division recorded the highest number of tuberculosis cases in Sarawak at 128 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Sarikei Division (115 cases) and Sibu (110).
He said 44% of the patients were aged 45 and below and 31% were above 60.
Ibans made up 47.6% of the total number of patients, followed by Malays (16.3%) and Chinese (14%).
Early symptoms of the disease, said Mawan, included continuous coughing for more than two weeks, high fever and sweating particularly at night, loss of appetite and drastic weight loss.