|TB cases on the rise
Sarawak Tribune - Thursday, 4 April, 2002
KANOWIT - Sarawak registered
an increase in the number of tuberculosis cases last year with 1,885
people having the diseases, up 119 cases from the previous year.
"Of the total, 121
people had died from the disease," Minister for Environment and
Public Health Datuk William Mawan disclosed at the State-level World
Tuberculosis Day at the Community Hall here yesterday.
The number of cases for
2000 was 1,766. The other figures were 1,676 (1991), 1,721(1992),
1,654(1993), 1,618(1994), 1,603(1995), 1,726 (1996), 1,712(1997),
1,684(1998), 1,771 (1999).
Mawan added that 61 per cent of the cases
in the State involved males and the racial breakdown of the patients were
Iban (44.8 percent), Malay (17.7 percent), Chinese (13.6 percent),
Bidayuh (6.7 percent), Melanau (6 percent) and other native groups (7.9
percent). Foreign nationals in the State made
up 2.6 percent of the total cases last year.
"And what was
alarming was that 70 percent of the patients were from the rural areas." he
Of the total number of
patients last year, 41 percent of them were below 45 years old and
another 35 percent were aged 60 and above, Mawan said, adding that 1,670
of the 1,885 cases last year were Pulmonary TB and 45 percent of them were
tested positive with sputum smear.
The Minister also said
Kanowit District recorded the most TB cases last year with 56 cases at the
ratio of 189 per 100,000 people and was considered the highest in the
Other districts with
the ratio of 100 per 100,000 people were Oya/Dalat (178), Saratok (153),
Mukah (142), Bintangor (139), Sarikei (132), Matu/Darn (118), Sri Aman
(117), Lubok Antu (115), Kapit (113) and Baram with 105 cases.
On the number of
patients who had recovered from the disease, Mawan said the percentage was
very high at an average of 90 percent. There were only four TB patients
who were also HIV positive.
Mawan said with the
development in the medical field and the better health facilities provided
by the government, TB was no longer a dreaded disease like in the early
1960s when the number of people killed by the disease was very high.
TB patients could now
recover six months after treatment, Mawan said, adding that the government
was serious in reducing the number of TB cases in the State.
He advised the people
to practise a healthy lifestyle and ensure that their living environment
He also called on
corporate bodies, social and professional organisations to participate in
activities organised by the Anti Tuberculosis Association of Sarawak (ATAS)
in order to wipe out the disease.