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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cambodia calls for more active participation to fight TB

PHNOM PENH, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia celebrated the World TB Day on Saturday, calling for more active participation from all concerned parties to help the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in 2015.

In a message to mark the day, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia has seen success in fighting tuberculosis and the disease treatment services have covered all 1,080 health centers throughout the country.

He said the death rate from TB had also sharply declined from 153 deaths among 100,000 patients in 1990 to 61 deaths in 2010, a drop of 61 percent.

"This figure showed that Cambodia has already achieved the MDG of the 50 percent reduction by 2015," he said.

For the infection rate, the premier said, the tuberculosis infection prevalence rate declined from 1,258 cases among 100,000 people in 1990 to 660 cases in 2010, down 47 percent.

"We almost reach the MDG of the 50 percent reduction by 2015," he said.

Despite the success, Cambodia is still one of the 22 high TB burden countries in the world, he said.

Around 62,000 people are estimated to suffer from TB each year and almost 9,000 Cambodians with TB die annually.

"On this occasion, I'd like to appeal to all ministries, institutions, all levels of authorities, national and international concerned parties, and common people to actively support every activity in fighting against TB in order to help Cambodia achieve the MDG successfully," said the premier.

The Saturday's celebration was presided over by the Minister of Health Mam Bunheng and Pieter van Maaren, the representative of the World Health Organization to Cambodia, and attended by some 400 health officials, TB patients, and students.

At the event, Pieter hailed Cambodia for its strong efforts to reduce the death and infection rates of TB in Cambodia, saying that with the above mentioned results, he believed that the country would be able to achieve the MDG in 2015.

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