Thu, Mar 16, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: DOH doubles TB funding

The government has doubled its funding this year for the prevention and control of tuberculosis, with the goal of halving the prevalence rate and death rate over a 10-year period, a Department of Health official said yesterday. According to Huang Rui-ming (黃瑞明), director of the Chest Hospital in Tainan, the funding will be funneled into restructuring the tuberculosis medical network, stepping up the observation of patients to ensure they take their medication, improving the training of public health workers, increasing medical subsidies for tuberculosis-prevalent Aboriginal areas and providing chest X-ray exams for the public. Huang said there are between 15,000 and 17,000 new tuberculosis cases every year, and around 1,300 deaths annually. Those fatalities account for as much as 70 percent of the total deaths from notifiable diseases in the country, Huang said. The cure rate of tuberculosis patients in Taiwan is 79 percent, compared to the 85 percent targeted by the World Health Organization, he said.

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