Malaysia committed to ending tuberculosis epidemic by 2035: Health minister

Malaysia committed to ending tuberculosis epidemic by 2035: Health minister

Tuberculosis file
File photo showing a lung X-ray. (Photo: AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is committed to ending the tuberculosis epidemic by the year 2035, said Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad on Thursday (Sep 27). 

Delivering the country’s statement at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis in New York, he said the burden of tuberculosis for Malaysia was still significant, with a notification rate of 81 per 100,000 population and mortality rate of 6.5 per 100,000 population for the year 2017. 

Acknowledging that the disease can be eliminated by ensuring universal access to high-quality diagnosis, treatment and care, he said Malaysia has implemented a systematic screening of those in the high-risk group since 2015.

“Malaysia as an upper higher middle-income country pledges that the cost for rapid molecular tests and anti-tuberculosis treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis be reviewed, so that more people can benefit from this test and treatment,“ he said in a statement issued on Thursday. 

Dzulkefly said Malaysia recognises that cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as socio-economic and psychosocial support from the community are important factors for successful treatment of tuberculosis. 

“Malaysia is committed to implementing, monitoring and evaluating the strategies proposed in the National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Control (2016-2020) with the full support and engagement of a wide range of stakeholders,” he said.

Source: Bernama/hs(ra)