HCMC implements Right Care program in attempt to eradicate tuberculosis

Ho Chi Minh City, which has the most cases of tuberculosis in the country with 15,000 fresh cases annually, has implemented Right Care program in an attempt to eradicate tuberculosis.

A consultant encourages a tuberculosis  patient not to quit treatment (Photo: SGGP)

A consultant encourages a tuberculosis patient not to quit treatment (Photo: SGGP)

The case detection rate is very low just around 60 percent of total cases in the community before the implementation of the program. Low detection rate is the culprit of tuberculosis transmission in the community.
Accordingly, the Public Health Association in HCMC has implemented the Right Care program with the support of international organizations to make an improvement in detection and treatment of the disease bringing about good results.
At the end of 2018, 39-year-old man Nguyen Huu Nhut Truong in Go Vap District was usually experiencing high fever, and cough. He received sputum check-up and started treatment procedure in the local medical clinic. Every two weeks, he came to the clinic to take free medicine once.
His relatives including his parents, wife, children also received treatment. After six months, he recovered from the disease. The man is just one of hundreds of tuberculosis people in the city receiving treatment in the Right Care program.
Vu Thi Hue, one of the program’s consultant in Go Vap District, said that consultants are tasked to find and introduce tuberculosis patients to local medical centers for treatment as well as keep an eye on their treatment procedure to make sure that patients will not drop treatment halfway.
Additionally, consultants will disseminate the information of how to prevent the contagious disease.
Director of the Go Vap Medical Center Nguyen Trung Hoa said that the disease is one of places with many cases of tuberculosis because migrant workers moved to other places resulting in uncontrollable management of tuberculosis patients.
From April, 2014, Go Vap District was the first district to carry out the Right Care program which detected additional 40 tuberculosis people in six first month after the program implementation. The number of tuberculosis people is 200 cases annually averagely.
Realizing the good results of the pilot program in Go Vap District, the Department of Health and the Association have implemented the program in districts 6, 8, 12, Tan Binh, hoc Mon and Binh Chanh from 2017.
The program also invited part-time consultants to increase residents’ accessibility to the program.
After two years, consultants discovered additional 1,703 tuberculosis patients in seven districts. Moreover, thanks to full-time and part –time consultants’ effort and encouragement, the rate of patients quitting treatment halfway is under 2 percent.
Noticeably, the Public Health Association in HCMC has come up with the idea to get mobile X-ray machine to each house to help the high risk group to have screening from 2017. Patients will receive gratis treatment.
132 X-ray screenings in 291 residential quarters have been carried out from 2017 on 40,944 people detecting 343 people having tuberculosis.
The Association will work with international organizations to maintain screening, detection of tuberculosis in an effort to eradicate the disease by 2030 according to the government’s Tuberculosis Prevention Strategy.
Vietnam ranks 15th of 30 countries with the highest burden of TB cases, according to the HCMC Public Health Association.

By THANH AN - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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