Tuberculosis (TB)

Thailand is classified by WHO as one of the 22 countries in the world with the highest TB burden. With a population of nearly 67 million, Thailand has about 93,000 new cases each year and an overall estimated TB prevalence of nearly 130,000 cases, 16 per cent of whom are also HIV positive. These figures are further complicated by the growing threat of drug resistant TB.

WHO in Thailand is supporting the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership. The Partnership is a global alliance that seeks “to push tuberculosis up the world political agenda. It focuses on expanding the use of the Stop TB Strategy, forming a drug facility to provide free or low cost tuberculosis drugs, and a global charter to map the world response to this epidemic.”In recent years, Thailand's national TB programme has also been expanded and strengthened with technical support from WHO and other health stakeholders

Technical support from WHO and other health stakeholders

Thailand is classified by WHO as one of the 22 countries in the world with the highest TB burden. [2] With a population of nearly 64 million, Thailand has about 93,000 new smear-positive cases each year and an overall estimated TB prevalence of nearly 130,000 cases, 16 per cent of whom are also HIV positive. These figures are further complicated by the growing threat of drug resistant TB. The most recent survey in 2006 found that approximately 1.6 per cent of new TB cases and 34.5 per cent of previously treated cases were resistant to multiple drugs (e.g. multi drug resistant TB or MDR-TB). [3]

At present, the two primary global targets set by WHO for TB – 70 per cent detection of new infectious cases and 85 per cent successful treatment of those cases – have been almost met by Thailand. In 2009, the case detection rate reached 69 per cent and the treatment success rate improved to 83 per cent. [4] There is hope that Thailand will surpass the global targets in the coming years.

To achieve these targets, WHO in Thailand is supporting the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership. The Partnership is a global alliance that seeks “to push tuberculosis up the world political agenda. It focuses on expanding the use of the Stop TB Strategy, forming a drug facility to provide free or low cost tuberculosis drugs, and a global charter to map the world response to this epidemic.” [5] The Stop TB Strategy, which was launched in 2006, strives to:

  • pursue high-quality DOTS (Directly Observed Therapy) expansion and enhancement;
  • address TB/HIV, multi-drug resistant TB and the needs of poor and vulnerable populations;
  • contribute to health system strengthening based on primary health care;
  • engage all care providers;
  • empower people with TB, and communities through partnership; and
  • enable and promote research. [6]

Since adopting these strategies in 2006, Thailand’s national TB programme has been expanded and strengthened with funding from the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria and technical support from WHO and the Thailand MOPH – U.S. CDC Collaboration, and other health stakeholders.

In the coming years, WHO will continue to pursue its knowledge-based partnership with the Thai government and employ its technical assets, objectivity, and convening power to support the national TB programme. In 2012, WHO has provided technical support to the Ministry of Public Health in their second national TB prevalence survey. In addition, WHO will support Thailand’s development of a 5-year plan for the programmatic management of multi-drug resistant TB as well as an advocacy, communication, and social mobilization plan. WHO’s close collaboration with the Thai national TB programme will ensure that strategic priorities in TB programming are addressed and the TB burden in the country is ultimately reduced.

Publications

2012 Report on Tuberculosis Control in the Southeast Asia Region: This annual report is a compilation of regional and country-specific achievements, challenges, and plans. WHO will continue to provide technical support to catalyze and accelerate the implementation of TB control services in Member States through a range of activities as detailed in this report.

Related Links

Share