At least 100 of 100,000 people die each year in Timor-Leste from Tuberculosis (TB) according to data from the Ministry of Health (MH).
Deputy Minister of Health Luis Lobato considers TB a major public health issue in Timor-Leste because of the high prevalence and morbidity with current estimate of 5,000 of 100,00 people suffering from TB.
"Our data shows that 100 of 100,000 people die annually which means in Timor-Leste one or two people die daily from TB," he said in a recent celebration of World TB Day at Hotel Timor, in Dili.
He added government has make a major commitment to combat TB through the creation of several mechanisms that provide adequate health treatment to the community, but reiterated that greater contributions are required from relevant entities, and especially from TB sufferers themselves.
He added the major obstacle Timor-Leste faces was the inadequate knowledge of the communities on how to safe keep their own health, with many patients not completing the full course of TB medication.
The Vice Minister made assurances in 2030 TB will be eliminated in Timor-Leste, the same way malaria and leprosy have been eliminated nationally.
Meanwhile World Health Organization (WHO) in Timor-Leste, representative Sudath Peiris said TB has devastating consequences for families and nations because the disease kills so many worldwide.Peiris added WHO estimates show that 10.4 million people in the world can be identified with TB in 2016; and 1.8 million people died in 2016. Worldwide, three TB sufferers die every minute.
"The World Health Organization has made a major commitment to support the Ministry of Health to end the TB epidemic, and I believe in days to come elimination will be successful."
He said recently WHO supported the Ministry of Health revise the National Strategic Plan for TB control 2018-2022, which is based on WHO's guidelines to end TB and which also calls for an increase of health coverage to include everyone.