Public and private institutions should work to eradicate tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a preventable and curable disease. Nevertheless, this disease is a public health concern in Bangladesh. About 379,000 people in Bangladesh are infected with tuberculosis every year. And every year 42 thousand people died. Besides, drug resistant tuberculosis is also causing problems in Bangladesh.

In this situation, experts point out that Public-Private Mix (PPM) is essential to increase the scope of TB diagnosis and treatment in Bangladesh.

They said there is an opportunity to reach more people with timely and effective TB treatment by involving private health care providers. Bangladesh has an opportunity to provide improved TB services to all through the PPM strategy.

Throwing questions, the speakers said, how can the goal of eliminating tuberculosis be met by 2030 without public-private sector working together?

This information was given at a program on Policy Advocacy and Private Sector Involvement in Tuberculosis Treatment and Eradication (ICDDR, B) in Mohakhali on Tuesday (June 4). The meeting was organized in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) and The Stop TB Partnership.

It was informed on the occasion that 37 medical college hospitals, 65 district headquarters hospitals, 429 upazila health care, 1 thousand 459 union health care institutions, 14 thousand 700 community clinics provide health care to the people of the country.

On the other hand, 60 percent of the country’s health care institutions are private. And 84 percent people seek treatment in private health care institutions. There are 67 medical colleges, 4 thousand 280 hospitals, 9 thousand clinics and 60 thousand independent medical services and 5 lakh pharmacies in the country. In addition, four thousand private development organizations work.

The speakers of ICDDR, B said in the event that 18 percent of TB patients are still not identified in the country. Apart from this, the number of drug-resistant tuberculosis patients is also increasing in the country. On the other hand, to meet the target of eliminating tuberculosis in 2030, a big plan is needed. If these number of public and private institutions work together to eradicate tuberculosis in Bangladesh, it will be possible to meet the government’s target of tuberculosis eradication by 2030.

USID Bangladesh OPHN Deputy Office Director Miranda Beckman said that it is not possible to provide all health care in Bangladesh only by the government. Tuberculosis is a contagious disease and anyone who breathes it can get it. Bangladesh is still at high risk for tuberculosis.

Additional Director General (Planning and Development) of the Department of Health Professor Dr. Mirzadi Sabrina Flora said, I have heard since childhood that public and private institutions should work together. But why this is not possible yet should be understood. Even though we are working towards eradication of tuberculosis, we still cannot find more than 30% of patients. However, 98 percent of our identified patients are cured. In this situation, private institutions should come forward without thinking only about profit.