World TB Day

Tuberculosis still kills 16,000 people a year in Nepal

Published On: March 24, 2022 07:15 PM NPT By: Puja Giri

KATHMANDU, March 24: Every year, 16,000 people die of tuberculosis in the country, according to the National Tuberculosis Control Center (NTCC). The number of new TB patients has reached 69,000 this year and the number is likely to increase further.

“We have taken this data from various private and government health institutions. But the number of patients coming in contact with the center is very low,” said NTCC Director Dr Sanjay Kumar Thakur .

According to Dr Thakur, despite the overall statistics showing 69,000 new patients, only 28,677 patients have come to the center for treatment in the current fiscal year. It has been found that about 40,000 TB patients are deprived of treatment.

"Many patients have not come in contact yet due to the lack of public awareness. They don’t know that treatment will cure the disease," he said. Similarly, Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Roshan Pokharel, said that cooperation should be made with private organizations to detect TB patients.

The ministry has implemented a five-year strategic plan for the eradication of tuberculosis from FY 2022/29 to 2026/27. Senior Pulmonologist Dr Dirgha Singh Bam, on the other hand, said that the work done by the NTCC and all the TB related bodies was not effective and that it was impossible to eradicate TB even by 2050.

Dr Bam said that in order to eradicate tuberculosis, the government should allocate 10 percent of its annual budget to the health sector, and the manpower should be identified accordingly.

The 40th Tuberculosis Day is being observed today (Thursday) around the world with the objective of bringing global awareness and spreading awareness against tuberculosis. 


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