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Oman Works to Reduce TB Prevalence By 2015

MuscatThe incidence of (TB) infections will be decreased to 1 case per 100,000 populations by 2015 as plans. This plan comes according to a strategy agreed by the Gulf Co-operation Council () states to work collectively towards eliminating the dreaded affliction. According to a key Health Ministry official supervising the country’s anti-TB effort, on Wednesday, March 30 during the launch of ‘World TB Day’ activities in the Sultanate, this disease will be controlled due to this commitment.

Dr Mohammed Redha Moosa al Lawati, Head of the National Tuberculosis Control Program said “This year’s activities will focus on the theme, ‘On the Move against Tuberculosis: Transforming the fight towards elimination’. This is the first that the World Health Organization (WHO) is placing the emphasis on eliminating — and not merely controlling — this chronic monster, thus making this year’s campaign very significant”. He added “Since the launch of the country’s anti-TB program in 1981, the Health Ministry has made robust strides in controlling the prevalence of the tuberculosis menace. The incidence of TB has been reduced by more than 75 per cent over the past two decades, from 928 cases in 1981 — equivalent to an incidence of 21 per 100,000 populations, to 213 cases in 2010, which translates to an incidence of 4.2 per 100,000 populations. The goal now before us is to bring it down to 1 per 100,000 populations by 2015 as part of a GCC-wide strategy”.

Nowadays, around 40 % of all TB cases are sputum positive pulmonary tuberculosis, which is an infectious form of the disease. The official continued “Other occurrences of the disease, albeit in small numbers, also include afflictions of the eyes, ears, larynx, spine, kidneys, brain, and joints” According to Dr Al Lawati, in 1981, the first adopted structured oncoming in resisting tuberculosis, has helped Oman gaining the upper hand against the menace. The success of the Ministry’s anti-TB program and its longstanding policy enhanced extending free treatment — inclusive of investigations, hospitalization and medicines – to both Omanis and expatriate residents.

One of many challenges in the Sultanate is helping in migrant labour to the incidence of the disease. Health authorities should solve this problem within the mid-decade to reduce TB‘s prevalence to 1 per 100,000 populations. But, Dr Al Lawati is optimistic that the ministry will achieve this purpose with its determination and the resources. Due to a strict policy regulating the dispensing of TB drugs, cases of multi-drug resistant TB are very few in the Sultanate.

Across many countries, an alarming rise in multi-drug resistant TB cases according to over-the-counter (OTC) sales of TB medications, coupled with erratic and non-systematic treatment. In some nations, especially in Africa, Cases of , which is resistant to both the first and second lines of defense in the treatment of the disease, are noticeable. Although, Oman has no reported cases of Extreme Drug Resistant TB. Dr Al Lawati added “In addition to a training workshop for frontline anti-TB staff this week, there will also symposiums for healthcare personnel in the regions, awareness campaigns targeted schoolchildren and communities”.


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