The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have drawn up a strategy to eradicate tuberculosis from the region by 2010, reported the Gulf News on Saturday.
The GCC has begun the world's first regional TB elimination initiative, aiming to reduce the incidence of new cases of smear-positive or infectious pulmonary tuberculosis to one per 100,000 by 2010.
According to a report by the UAE’s health ministry, TB still poses an important public health problem in the UAE.
It is noteworthy that most of the expatriates in the UAE come from countries where TB is prevalent.
"That's why the overall objective of tuberculosis control is to reduce mortality, morbidity and disease transmission as well as the prevention of drug resistance," said the report.
The report said the overall incidence of tuberculosis has increased from 18.9 cases per 100,000 in 1989 (308 cases) to 28.0 cases per 100,000 in 1998 (773 cases). The detection of 417 cases in communicable disease control centers (54 per cent of the total) among expatriates applying for residence visas accounts for the increase.
Tuberculosis detected among UAE nationals constituted 4.7 per cent of the cases reported in 1998 (37 out of 773 cases). Of the 37 cases, 65 percent were under 45 and 13 cases were under 15. This indicates that transmission of tuberculosis bacilli is still present among the UAE national population, it said -- Albawaba.com
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