Presently, one-quarter of the world’s population is thought to be infected with latent tuberculosis, with more than 95 per cent of the cases occurring in developing countries.
Arth Nana, executive committee chairman of the Anti-TB Association, said Thailand needs to do away with tuberculosis before 2021. In 2017 the Disease Control Department put in place a five-year goal to rid Thailand of TB. The World Health Organsation has set its own goal to reduce the number of TB patients to fewer than 10 in every 100,000 by 2035.
“We are one of the 14 worst countries hit by this severely infectious disease which has spread across 200 countries,” said Arth.
But with three years to go, so far Thailand has made limited inroads into tackling the spread and growth of TB. In Bangkok, new cases of the disease are on the rise with much of this due to the influx of migrant workers.
The high number of drug-resistant cases was among the factors that put Thailand in the pool of 14 worst-hit countries for TB ranked by the World Health Organisation.