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HCM City (VNA) – The APEC Health Working Group(HWG) held a policy dialogue on August 22 to discuss the acceleration of actionon tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in theregion.
The dialogue was part of the third APEC SeniorOfficials’ Meeting (SOM 3) and related meetings in Ho Chi Minh City.
More than 100 participants includedrepresentatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Stop TBPartnership, the Global TB Caucus, the US Centres for Disease Control andPrevention, and the APEC economies.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Pham LeTuan stressed his country has gained a number of positive outcomes in TBprevention and control over the last decades. It is one of the nine economies achievingthe three main targets of TB infection minimisation and also among the threeeconomies that have effectively implemented the WHO’s End TB Strategy.
Vietnam’s top priority at present is to earlydetect all TB infections and cure them so as to prevent transmission, he noted.
He said the policy dialogue, an initiative ofVietnam with coordination from other APEC economies and the WHO support, aimedto devise a breakthrough strategy and build a common responsibility frameworkto eradicate TB in the APEC region.
Diana E.C Weil, a coordinator of the Policy,Strategy and Innovations Unit of the WHO Global TB Programme, highly valuedVietnam’s efforts in the TB fight, adding that the country has become one ofthe pioneer members in carrying out the WHO’s End TB Strategy.
She said TB is a global threat as one-third ofthe global population can contract TB and about 10 percent of the infectedpeople will carry the disease for their whole life.
At the dialogue, delegates discussed cooperationand integration opportunities in TB prevention and control. They also submittedimportant recommendations to call on policy makers, leaders of Governments andthe health sector in the APEC economies to pay more attention to TB.-VNA
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