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BRAC roundtable on TB control: Experts for increased govt support

The government needs to increase funding to continue the present success of the country’s tuberculosis control activities. It is because the types of infection may change in future as a result of climate change impacts. Better technologies may be needed to detect TB infection in future. Donor support is yet another concern in tuberculosis control activities in the coming years. In this situation adequate support from the government is necessary to brace for the future challenges in controlling the TB infection, for which political will is essential.

Experts attending a roundtable on the tuberculosis control programme today on Monday said these. The event titled ‘National TB Control Programme: Coordination of all levels of stakeholders’ was held at the BRAC Centre in the capital. National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Directorate of Health Services, daily Jugantar and BRAC organised the roundtable. Director General of DGHS, Professor Dr Deen Muhammad Nurul Haque, attended the event as the chief guest. Mujibar Rahman, Programme Consultant, National Tuberculosis Programme, presented the keynote paper.

Chaired by Dr Ahammad Hossain Khan, Programme Manager, NTP, the roundtable was attended, among others, by Dr Sabera Sultana, National Professional Officer, WHO, Bart Rom Bout, Country Director, Damien Foundation, Dr Shakil Ahmed, Associate Professor, Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Dr Shayla Islam, Programme Manager, BRAC Health Nutrition and Population Programme. Shagufta Sultana, Senior Programme Manager, BRAC Advocacy for Social Change, gave the welcome speech.

TB Control Program in Bangladesh

The speakers raised the existing main challenges in TB control activities that include, among others, ensuring integrated participation of non-government stakeholders in the TB control programme, involve more stakeholder organisations to strengthen the programme, negligence by the patients to follow the treatment regime, lack of modern treatment equipment and quality medicines, absence of separate hospitals for treatment of multi-drug resistant TB, inadequate detection of child TB and complications in infection diagnosis.

Professor Deen Muhammad in his chief guest’s speech stressed strengthening of coordination among the government, donors, non-governmental partners, media and the above all, the community people, for a progressive success of the TB control programme led by the government.

Dr. Md Akramul Islam, Director, BRAC TB-Malaria, WASH and DECC programmes, stressed that donor support should be increased in this regard. ‘We would make a big mistake if we think that our responsibilities end with the achievement of MDG target. Despite our worthy success in controlling the infection, we have to concentrate on arresting the number of deaths and infected in TB’.

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