According to the latest study of the World Health Organisation, there are 361,000 tuberculosis patients in the country. Tuberculosis is the reason for the death of 39,000 people every year. 19 per cent of the detected tuberculosis patients remain outside the treatment facilities.

On the other hand, the treatment is not effective for six per cent of the patients who are getting treatment. Bangladesh is among the list of the countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis.

Renowned expert in chest diseases and the secretary general of the Lung Foundation, professor Asif Mostapha told Prothom Alo that it is a big challenge for the entire world. In the countries which lack resources, the problem is even more severe.

However, the DGHS has already started the necessary work to resolve the problem. Professional physicians are helping the government in this regard.

Not only a large number of common tuberculosis patients have not been identified, but drug-resistant tuberculosis patients have remained undetected. Experts are estimating that being outside the treatment facilities. These patients are increasing the risk of tuberculosis infection.

Tuberculosis services, like other health and medical services, have been affected in many parts of the world due to coronavirus.

In an article published in the medical journal “Lancet” in September last year, it was stated that in the countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis, the risk of death may increase by 20 per cent in the next five years. Coronavirus pandemic is not over yet.

After evaluating the present tuberculosis situation, the officials of NTP said it is difficult to distinguish between coronavirus and tuberculosis as both the diseases show common symptoms like cough, breathing difficulties and fever.

General people and health workers rarely visited the health centres due to fear of contracting coronavirus. However, the authorities concerned have made a plan to compensate for the damage.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu.

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