Cross-border tuberculosis detection project launched to benefit VN, Cambodia

A cross-border tuberculosis detection and control project was launched to provide diagnostics and treatment for residents on the border between Vietnam and Cambodia.
At the workshop

At the workshop

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency, in collaboration with the Vietnam National Tuberculosis Project and the Cambodian Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy (CENAT), organized a workshop for the launch of the project ‘Controlling Tuberculosis in Vietnam and Cambodia border area - the second phase’.

The project aims to improve TB diagnosis and treatment for people traveling frequently in the border area between Vietnam and Cambodia. Moreover, at the same time, it will improve cooperation between health authorities in 4 provinces of An Giang, Tay Ninh (Vietnam) and Svay Rieng, Takeo (Cambodia).

Speaking at the workshop, Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Binh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Central Lung Hospital cum Deputy Head of the Executive Board of the Vietnam National TB Project, said that Vietnam and Cambodia are two countries that are facing difficulties with the burden of tuberculosis.

Although significant progress has been made in reducing TB disease, both countries face a lack of financial resources to eliminate TB completely.

In addition, because the world has been heavily affected during two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, TB prevention in Vietnam and Cambodia has suffered certain effects. The death rate of TB in Vietnam in 2021 was estimated at 12,000 people, an increase of 34.8 percent compared to 2020 meanwhile this figure in Cambodia was 3,400 people, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2020.

Worse, the two nations are facing the risk of a tuberculosis outbreak in the community.

According to Assoc. Prof Nguyen Binh Hoa, the project aims to record more undetected TB patients, as well as ensure that vulnerable people, high-risk groups and travelers who cross the border area in particular can access quality TB diagnosis and treatment services. The tuberculosis control project on the border between Vietnam and Cambodia was approved by the Global Fund from 2022 to 2024.

The expansion of the project aims to contribute to improving cooperation between Vietnamese and Cambodian health authorities in An Giang, Tay Ninh, Svay Rieng and Takeo provinces, to ensure TB prevention activities in border areas between Vietnam and Cambodia.

The support of leaders at all levels, domestic and foreign partners and the society by issuing favorable mechanisms and policies and financing synchronous implementation of interventions is necessary for the project’s development contributing to increasing migrants' access to TB diagnosis and treatment services, in line with regional and global commitments, said Assoc. Prof Nguyen Binh Hoa.

Speaking at the workshop, Director of Cambodia's National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Prevention Chan Yuda Hout said that migrants often face poor and cramped living conditions; thus, they have rarely sought for health care services resulting in delayed disease diagnosis, making migrants more susceptible to contracting TB.

In addition, migrants find it difficult to access TB diagnosis and treatment services because they have no health insurance cards, or they have often faced stigma, and discrimination; worse, many of them have no legal personal documents. Moreover, migrants and their families might face economic distress relating to TB diagnosis and treatment.

IOM contributes to cross-border tuberculosis detection and control by providing a wide variety of tuberculosis-related services, from diagnostics to treatment, as well as public health measures, such as contact tracing and health education.

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